Civic Participation

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Introduction
Political engagement and civic participation are broad topics soliciting diverse opinions. These not only cover areas pertaining to what constitutes participation and why people might (or should) feel motivated to engage, but also the state of political engagement in society. Particularly in the United States the debate has centered on the commitment of citizens to democracy. Not surprisingly, academia has repeatedly inquired into and explored topics associated with civic participation and forms of political action to understand how, where, and why people engage. Nevertheless, findings have remained inconclusive and divisive, announcing both growing civic apathy as well as the expansion of participatory repertoires. Apart from
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Research and interest on the matter dates back to ancient Greece, where beginning with Plato and Aristotle, philosophers explored democratic citizenship and the role of citizens. Although research in the antique often concentrated on the kind of knowledge and training required of citizens to engage democratically, it also studied the adequate degree and types of engagement as well as norms guiding participation (i.e. Plato, Aristotle, and Cicero). Early discussions further highlighted the infirmities and pitfalls of democracy as well as threats to the same. Interestingly, many of these research traditions are continued today and remain as relevant as in ancient Greece and the Roman…show more content…
Putnam (1995, 2000) and his colleagues maintain that ICTs are a root cause for disengagement, either due to time wasted online rather than devoting it to civic affairs (replacement theory) or as a result of disillusionment and distrust resulting from information overflow created by ICTs (media malaise theory) (Gil de Zúñiga & Valenzuela, 2011; Papacharissi, 2009; Schlozman et al., 2010). Contrary to this assertion, Dalton (2006, 2008, 2011, 2012) and his associates contend that ICTs are promoting participation through increased access to information, new opportunities to engage, and the creation of social capital through more diverse, far-reaching virtual social

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