Inequality and Participative Democracy
Voltaire has observed that “so long as the people do not care to exercise their freedom, those who wish to tyrannize will do so; for tyrants are active and ardent, and will devote themselves in the name of any number of gods, religious and otherwise, to put shackles upon sleeping men”.
This observation is supported by recent research by Ioannis Theodossiou and Alexandros Zangelidis who published a paper called “Inequality and Participative Democracy. A Self‐Reinforcing Mechanism” in the journal of Review of Income and Wealth. The study argues that there is a relatively recent notable increase in economic inequality accompanied by a decline in people’s engagement in politics and electoral participation. This unsatisfactory phenomenon undermines the legitimacy of democratic representation.
The study investigates the complex salient mechanism that produces this negative association and identifies a two-way causal relationship between inequality and political participation. Greater income inequality appears to alienate and discourage people from engaging with…