Formal education is crucial for creating enlightened and active citizens. The better educated are more engaged, more knowledgeable, and more politically tolerant. Despite a dramatic increase in education attainment over the last quarter century, political engagement has not risen at a commensurate level. How and why education affects citizenship in these ways has until now been a puzzle. Norman H. Nie, Jane Junn, and Kenneth Stehlik-Barry provide answers by uncovering the causal relationship between education and democratic citizenship. They argue that citizenship encompasses both political engagement in pursuit of interests and commitment to democratic values that temper what citizens can do to win in politics. Education affects the two dimensions in distinct ways. Especially significant is the influence of education on political engagement through occupational prominence and position in social networks. Formal education orders the distribution of social position and connections and creates an uneven political playing field.
Participation in America represents the largest study ever conducted of the ways in which citizens participate in American political life. Sidney Verba and Norman H. Nie addresses the question of who participates in the American democratic process, how, and with what effects. They distinguish four kinds of political participation: voting, campaigning, communal activity, and interaction with a public official to achieve a personal goal. Using a national sample survey and interviews with leaders in 64 communities, the authors investigate the correlation between socioeconomic status and political participation. Recipient of the Kammerer Award (1972), Participation in America provides fundamental information about the nature of American democracy.
In this survey of political participation in seven nations—Nigeria, Austria, Japan, India, the Netherlands, Yugoslavia, and the United States—the authors examine the relationship between social, economic, and educational factors and political participation.
The authors of this prizewinning and best selling book on electoral behavior have brought their study up-to-date with a trenchant analysis of the 1976 presidential election. Once more by carefully analyzing national voting patterns, they give substantive meaning to statistics and figures.