Politics and Public Administration seminar

Politics and Public Administration seminar

Department of Politics and Public Administration Seminar

Wednesday, 2nd March
Room C0079
2.00 PM

Mikko Mattila (Helskini) and Achillefs Papageorgiou (UL)

Disability, Perceived Discrimination and Political Participation

Disability affects the lives of millions across the world. People with disabilities often perceive discrimination and unequal treatment. Social psychologists have argued that the mere categorization of people into groups, i.e., ‘healthy’ vs. ‘disabled’, is enough to trigger discriminatory behaviour against people with disabilities. Previous studies analysing political participation among people with disabilities show that in general disabilities depress the level of political participation. However, the effect that perceived disability-based discrimination has on political participation has received little scholarly attention. In this paper we study empirically how perceptions of perceived discrimination affect three different forms of political participation, namely voting, contacting politicians or government officials, and taking part in lawful demonstrations. Data are drawn from the European Social Survey (ESS) that covers 32 European states and six survey rounds during 2002-2012. We hypothesize that the mobilizing effect depends on the kinds of incentives each type of participation offers to potential participants. Results show that disability decreases voting, especially when associated with perceptions of discrimination. The analysis, however, points in the opposite direction when the other two studied forms of political participation are analysed. People with disabilities are more likely to partake in demonstrations and contact politicians than non-disabled people. Thus, perceived disability-based discrimination is not always a hindrance to participation. Instead, it sometimes further motivates people with disabilities to participate in some forms of political participation.

All welcome!