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Abstract. Studies of political participation have traditionally differentiated conventional from non-conventional, legal from illegal, modes of participation. In this paper we to develop a more complex scheme, using the technique of multidimensional scaling (MDS). We look at the perceptions that individuals hold about different forms of political participation that range from voting to armed violence and include other legal or illegal manifestations. The results show the existence of two meaningful underlying dimensions. The first relates to ‘within-system’versus ‘out-of-system’activities; the second relates to ‘progressive’versus ‘conservative’activities. A cluster analysis is then used to develop a typology of political participation.