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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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Introduction: Normative Conceptions of Democratic Citizenship and Evolving Empirical Research

Introduction: Normative Conceptions of Democratic Citizenship and Evolving Empirical Research

(p.1) Chapter 1 Introduction: Normative Conceptions of Democratic Citizenship and Evolving Empirical Research
The Political Psychology of Democratic Citizenship

Eugene Borgida

Christopher M. Federico

John L. Sullivan

Oxford University Press

In contemporary social-scientific work on citizenship and current challenges to the effective practice of citizenship, fragmentation in analysis and focus seems to be the rule. While scholars in political science, social psychology and mass communications have all made notable contributions to our understanding of present-day citizenship, it is suggested in this chapter that they concentrate on very different aspects of the overall problem. In light of this fragmentary pattern of inquiry, it is submitted that an explicitly interdisciplinary approach to the analysis of citizenship holds great potential for insight and integration across topic areas, and for the development of informed interventions aimed at meeting challenges currently faced by democratic citizens. This introductory chapter overviews five carefully selected themes related to democratic citizenship that address the key challenges to existing perspectives on citizenship. These are themes for which scholars may not be aware of work in other disciplines on the same topic, or where scholars are insufficiently aware of such work and might well benefit from greater intellectual commerce. In other words, these are themes that provide excellent opportunities for the interdisciplinary cross-talk that we have encouraged in the various contributions to this volume.

Keywords:   political psychology, democratic citizenship, civic engagement, civic competence, democratic theory

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