There is a large volume of studies on political participation, including motivations for citizens to become involved in various channels of engagement. Building on this extensive literature, the present study examines factors that affect participation, with particular attention on the linear (conservative vs. progressive) and curvilinear (moderate vs. radical) impact of ideological orientations, and also considers the influence exerted by political interest and partisanship. Utilizing data from Japan spanning nearly three decades, we analyze changes and continuities in patterns of participation in four categories of activities: election turnout; campaigning; system-affirming; and elite-challenging. Empirical analysis reveals that radicals take a more active part in campaigning than moderates, and progressives are more inclined toward elite-challenging activities than conservatives, while no consistent results are found for turnout. The study also discusses possible causes and consequences of a long-term decline in participation in Japan.
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