Democratic linkage between citizens and the political system in Europe: Is the Civic Culture still alive?

25.04.2012 - 19:15
Location : 
A 5,6 Raum A 231
Type of Event : 
MZES Public Lecture
Prof. Marc Hooghe, Ph.D.
Lecturer affiliation: 
Centre for Citizenship and Democracy / Katholieke Universiteit Leuven

Traditionally it is assumed that the stability of democratic political regimes is dependent on the presence of a vibrant civic culture, that is characterized by high levels of political participation and political trust. Concern about the current trends in political culture focus on a decline of voter turnout and of traditional forms of political participation (mainly with regard to political parties). There is no evidence however, for a decline of political trust. Available research shows that non-institutionalized forms of political participation are clearly on the rise in Western Europe, but the research question thus far remains whether they succeed to establish a meaningful linkage between citizens and the political system. Most notably questions of representation and political efficacy remain unsolved. In this lecture we suggest some possible way political systems might adapt to changing citizens’ expectations.