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The Political Psychology of Democratic Citizenship$
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Eugene Borgida, Christopher M Federico, and John L Sullivan

Print publication date: 2009

Print ISBN-13: 9780195335453

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: April 2010

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195335453.001.0001

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What Has Political Psychology to Offer Regarding Democratic Citizenship?

What Has Political Psychology to Offer Regarding Democratic Citizenship?

Chapter:
(p.357) Chapter 16 What Has Political Psychology to Offer Regarding Democratic Citizenship?
Source:
The Political Psychology of Democratic Citizenship
Author(s):

George E. Marcus (Contributor Webpage)

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195335453.003.0016

A large body of psychological research on citizen competence has resoundingly suggested that citizens are ill-equipped to meet the demands of sound democratic decision making. This chapter challenges this view, arguing that democratic politics presents a wide array of challenges, each demanding different civic skills. In particular, it contends that it is necessary to embrace a more agonistic view of democratic politics — one that places citizens at the center of a conflict over power and resources. Drawing broadly on interdisciplinary evidence, the chapter argues that citizens are actually quite adept at meeting the challenges of self-governance in the democratic polity.

Keywords:   political psychology, democratic citizenship, civic engagement, political participation, political conflict

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