Democratic Political Competence: Clearing the Underbrush and a Controversial Proposal

Democratic Political Competence: Clearing the Underbrush and a Controversial Proposal Though the link between democracy and an appropriately trained citizen is obvious, the theoretical and empirical nature of this association is murky despite mountains of scholarship addressing this topic. Part of this problem is that the term “democratic competence” has been stretched almost to the point of uselessness. This constant adding of desired traits—many of which are ideologically driven—misdirects effort away from such complex problems as the relationship between individual attributes and collective capacities. Moreover, recent research has often been guilty of using data of uncertain relevance to demonstrate a competence that seems largely an analytical artifact. We conclude by offering an approach that stresses “old- fashioned” traits such as patriotism that seem necessary to the existing, and quite democratic, status quo. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Political Behavior Springer Journals

Democratic Political Competence: Clearing the Underbrush and a Controversial Proposal

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Publisher
Kluwer Academic Publishers-Plenum Publishers
Copyright
Copyright © 2001 by Plenum Publishing Corporation
Subject
Political Science and International Relations; Political Science; Sociology, general
ISSN
0190-9320
eISSN
1573-6687
D.O.I.
10.1023/A:1015011124151
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

Though the link between democracy and an appropriately trained citizen is obvious, the theoretical and empirical nature of this association is murky despite mountains of scholarship addressing this topic. Part of this problem is that the term “democratic competence” has been stretched almost to the point of uselessness. This constant adding of desired traits—many of which are ideologically driven—misdirects effort away from such complex problems as the relationship between individual attributes and collective capacities. Moreover, recent research has often been guilty of using data of uncertain relevance to demonstrate a competence that seems largely an analytical artifact. We conclude by offering an approach that stresses “old- fashioned” traits such as patriotism that seem necessary to the existing, and quite democratic, status quo.

Journal

Political BehaviorSpringer Journals

Published: Oct 3, 2004

References

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