Employees who are given a voice at work are more likely to engage in political processes outside of work. However, a Swiss analyst warns that current labor market patterns pose a threat to democracy. Mischa Stünzi had this story in Swiss Info:
In 1970, British political scientist Carole Pateman was the first to mention a link between participation at work and democratic participation. She argued that giving employees a say at work can generate positive feelings. These motivates employees to participate more in democratic processes in other ways. Later research found that people who experience democracy at work learn additional skills which can in turn be used outside the office. And these lead to greater participation.
A number of studies, especially in the US, have confirmed the connection between participation in the workplace and democratic participation. For example, research teams have found a positive correlation between union representation and voting participation.
“I think democracy in companies is a prerequisite for democracy to be alive at the state level,” philosophy professor Rahel Jaeggi told SWI swissinfo.ch.
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