The Dark Side of Collective Action

The rapid rise of the German nationalist, radical right-wing movement PEGIDA poses the threat of popularising discrimination and shattering democratic advancements. This essay analyses the rise of this collective action based on four motivations; group-identification, anger, moral convictions and group efficacy. Based on ingroup-favouritism, common-fate theory, outgroup-devaluation and realistic-group-conflict theory, an increasing radicalisation of PEGIDA is predicted if current political responses are retained.

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Increasing Voter Turnout in European Elections

Low and decreasing voter turnout is an increasing political and psychological problem across Europe and beyond. Research indicates that perceived social norms and personal involvement significantly contribute to the extent that voters do or do not vote. A process model is presented, and the effectiveness of targeting respective variables for possible intervention is discussed. An intervention is proposed based on an adaptation of the “I voted”-stickers in US elections to increase personal involvement, public commitment and descriptive social norms.

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Much Of Smoke About Nothing

A vast majority of developing countries rely on burning solid fuel for everyday energy needs. The current practices significantly impact climate change and result in a dramatic impact on health, causing more than two million deaths per year through indoor air pollution (IAP). This paper reviews the work of Hanna, Duflo and Greenstone (2016), who studied an intervention by the Indian NGO Gram Vikas, but, in line with similar research in this field, failed to find significant effects. The intervention, results, and theory are analysed, improvements proposed and a monitoring and evaluation plan developed.

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