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.
Political Behavior – Springer Journals
Published: Oct 3, 2004
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