Online and Offline Political Participation in Romania

Toma Burean, Gabriel Badescu
2013 Social Science Research Network  
In January 2012, in several cities of Romania, people turned out to streets to protest. The protests were linked to the wave of movements such as the Indignados or Occupy Wall Street. The students were especially visible among protesters. In this paper we evaluate who are the Romanians who take an active role in political life and what motivates them. Following several studies on political participation and protest, we assert that at the individual level the protests express their distrust of
more » ... their distrust of the political system that translates into engaging in demonstrations. Online activism accelerates the felling of shared distrust of institutions, motivating youth to engage in protest participation although the effects might be moderate. The hypotheses are tested with data from a general survey on participation in 2012 and a student survey from October 2012. We find that gender, distrust in institutions and family income influence protest behavior. Time spent online has a negative effect on protest engagement and online activism increases protesting.
doi:10.2139/ssrn.2304567 fatcat:y4qhnnysyfap3llkmu3we7jsea