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The structure of opportunities for citizen activism in democratic or autocratic regime diverge sharply, such as in freedom of expression, association, and assembly. These contextual differences can be expected to have major consequences for the risks and rewards of becoming politically engaged—and the incentives driving this process. Survey data is derived from the seventh wave of the World Values Survey/European Values Survey (WVS/EVS), with fieldwork conducted from 2017 to 2020, covering 75 diverse countries. Participation is measured by 18 survey items which are collapsed into standardized composite. Nation-states are clustered into four types of regimes—liberal democracies, electoral democracies, electoral autocracies, and absolute autocracies, based on the Varieties of Democracy classification. Overall reported levels of mass participation are confirmed to be significantly lower in autocracies, as expected, especially protest activism in more repressive states.


Norris, Pippa. "Comparing Mass Political Participation in Democratic and Authoritarian Regimes." The Oxford Handbook of Political Participation. Ed. Marco Giugni and Maria Grasso. Oxford University Press, 2022, 858-876.