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Social Capital And Political Involvement

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Chapter Summary

This chapter presents the twofold goals of the explorations—tracing the relevance of social capital and of politicization to explain cross-national differences in political involvement at various levels—the analyses proceed in several steps. First it presents the several aspects and measures of political involvement in European countries and determines the degree of cross-national variation. Then, it considers whether micro-level models including a number of individual antecedents can explain political involvement. Next, indicators of social capital are included in these models separately in order to trace their impact. In the final step of the analyses, a multi-level model is designed with the relevant micro-level determinants at the individual-level as well as indicators for both the politicization of society and the degree of social capital at the macro-level. The analyses are based on the first wave of the European Social Survey (ESS; 2002-2003). This wave includes information collected in 22 countries.

Keywords:cross-national variation; European countries; European Social Survey (ESS); political involvement; social capital



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