1932

Abstract

Whether education affects political participation is a long-standing and central question in political philosophy and political science. In this review, we provide an overview of the three main theoretical models that explain different causal pathways. We then synthesize the surge in research using causal inference strategies and show that this literature has generated mixed results about the causal impact of education, even when using similar methods and data. These findings do not provide clear support for any of the three theories. Our next section covers research on civic education and political participation. The quantity of civic education matters little for political participation, but how civic education is taught does matter. Namely, strategies falling under the rubric of active learning show promise. These strategies seem especially effective for historically marginalized students. Our final section calls for more research on how civic education is taught.

Loading

Article metrics loading...

/content/journals/10.1146/annurev-polisci-051120-014235
2022-05-12
2024-04-23
Loading full text...

Full text loading...

/deliver/fulltext/polisci/25/1/annurev-polisci-051120-014235.html?itemId=/content/journals/10.1146/annurev-polisci-051120-014235&mimeType=html&fmt=ahah

Literature Cited

  1. Acemoglu D, Johnson S, Robinson JA, Yared P 2005. From education to democracy?. Am. Econ. Rev 95:244–49
    [Google Scholar]
  2. Albacete G 2013. Promoting political interest in school: the role of civic education. Growing Into Politics: Contexts and Timing of Political Socialisation S Abendschön 91–114 Colchester, UK: ECPR Press
    [Google Scholar]
  3. Almond GA, Verba S. 1963. The Civic Culture: Political Attitudes and Democracy in Five Nations New York: Sage
  4. Berinsky AJ, Lenz GS. 2011. Education and political participation: exploring the causal link. Political Behav 33:3357–73
    [Google Scholar]
  5. Brady HE, Verba S, Schlozman KL. 1995. Beyond SES: a resource model of political participation. Am. Political Sci. Rev 89:2271–94
    [Google Scholar]
  6. Brody R. 1978. The puzzle of political participation in America. The New American Political System Washington, DC: Am. Enterp. Inst.
    [Google Scholar]
  7. Burns N. 2012. Unequal at the starting line: the intergenerational persistence of political inequality. See Schlozman et al. 2012 177–98
  8. Callahan RM, Muller C, Schiller KS. 2010. Preparing the next generation for electoral engagement: social studies and the school context. Am. J. Educ 116:4525–56
    [Google Scholar]
  9. Campbell A, Converse P, Miller W, Stokes D. 1960. The American Voter Chicago: Univ. Chicago Press
  10. Campbell D. 2006. Why We Vote: How Schools and Communities Shape Our Civic Life Princeton, NJ: Princeton Univ. Press
  11. Campbell D. 2008. Voice in the classroom: how an open classroom climate fosters political engagement among adolescents. Political Behav. 30:4437–54
    [Google Scholar]
  12. Campbell D. 2009. Civic engagement and education: an empirical test of the sorting model. Am. J. Political Sci 53:4771–86
    [Google Scholar]
  13. Campbell D. 2013. Social networks and political participation. Annu. Rev. Political Sci 16:33–48
    [Google Scholar]
  14. de Chaisemartin C, D'Haultfœuille X. 2020. Two-way fixed effects estimators with heterogeneous treatment effects. Am. Econ. Rev 110:92964–96
    [Google Scholar]
  15. Dee TS. 2003. Are there civic returns to education? NBER Work. Pap. 9588
  16. Delli Carpini MX, Keeter S. 1996. What Americans Know about Politics and Why It Matters New Haven, CT: Yale Univ. Press
  17. Dewey J. 1916. Democracy and Education: An Introduction to the Philosophy of Education New York: Macmillan https://www.gutenberg.org/files/852/852-h/852-h.htm
  18. Ehman LH. 1980. Change in high school students’ political attitudes as a function of social studies classroom climate. Am. Educ. Res. J 17:2253–65
    [Google Scholar]
  19. Gainous J, Martens AM. 2012. The effectiveness of civic education: Are “good” teachers actually good for “all” students?. Am. Politics Res 40:2232–66
    [Google Scholar]
  20. Gainous J, Martens AM. 2016. Civic education: Do liberals do it better?. J. Political Ideol 21:3261–79
    [Google Scholar]
  21. Galston WA. 2001. Political knowledge, political engagement, and civic education. Annu. Rev. Political Sci 4:1217–34
    [Google Scholar]
  22. Gibson C, Levine P. 2003. The civic mission of schools Rep. Carnegie Corp. N. Y. and Cent. Inf. Res. Civic Learn. Engagem. https://media.carnegie.org/filer_public/9d/0a/9d0af9f4-06af-4cc6-ae7d-71a2ae2b93d7/ccny_report_2003_civicmission.pdf
  23. Gill B, Tilley C, Whitesell E, Finucane M, Potamites L, Corcoran S 2018. The impact of Democracy Prep public schools on civic participation. Rep., Mathematica Policy Res., Princeton, NJ
    [Google Scholar]
  24. Gimpel J, Celest L, Schuknecht J 2003. Cultivating Democracy: Civic Environments and Political Socialization in America Washington, DC: Brookings Inst.
  25. Glaeser EL, La Porta R, Lopez-de-Silane F, Shleifer A 2004. Do institutions cause growth? NBER Work. Pap. 10568
  26. Goodman-Bacon A. 2018. Difference-in-differences with variation in treatment timing NBER Work. Pap. 25018
  27. Green-Riley N. 2021. How perilous are paper fans? Public diplomacy through Confucius classrooms and implications for Chinese influence PhD Diss., Harvard Univ. Cambridge, MA:
  28. Gutmann A. 1999. Democratic Education Princeton, NJ: Princeton Univ. Press
  29. Henderson J, Chatfield S 2011. Who matches? Propensity scores and bias in the causal effects of education on participation. J. Politics 73:3646–58
    [Google Scholar]
  30. Hess RD, Torney JV. 1967. The Development of Political Attitudes in Children New Brunswick, NJ: AldineTransaction
  31. Highton B, Wolfinger RE. 2001. The first seven years of the political life cycle. Am. J. Political Sci 45:1202–9
    [Google Scholar]
  32. Hill KQ, Leighley JE. 1992. The policy consequences of class bias in state electorates. Am. J. Political Sci 36:2351–65
    [Google Scholar]
  33. Hillygus DS. 2005. The MISSING LINK: exploring the relationship between higher education and political engagement. Political Behav 27:125–47
    [Google Scholar]
  34. Holbein JB. 2017. Childhood skill development and adult political participation. Am. Political Sci. Rev 111:3572–83
    [Google Scholar]
  35. Holbein JB, Hillygus DS. 2020. Making Young Voters: Converting Civic Attitudes into Civic Action Cambridge, UK: Cambridge Univ. Press
  36. Imai K, Kim IS. 2020. On the use of two-way fixed effects regression models for causal inference with panel data. Political Anal 29:3405–15
    [Google Scholar]
  37. Jennings MK, Stoker L, Bowers J. 2009. Politics across generations: family transmission reexamined. J. Politics 71:3782–99
    [Google Scholar]
  38. Kahne J, Chi B, Middaugh E 2006. Building social capital for civic and political engagement: the potential of high-school civics courses. Can. J. Educ 29:2387–409
    [Google Scholar]
  39. Kahne J, Crow D, Lee N-J. 2013. Different pedagogy, different politics: high school learning opportunities and youth political engagement. Political Psychol. 34:3419–41
    [Google Scholar]
  40. Kahne J, Sporte SE. 2008. Developing citizens: the impact of civic learning opportunities on students’ commitment to civic participation. Am. Educ. Res. J 45:3738–66
    [Google Scholar]
  41. Kahne J, Westheimer J. 2006. The limits of political efficacy: educating citizens for a democratic society. PS: Political Sci. Politics 39:2289–96
    [Google Scholar]
  42. Kalla J, Porter E. 2022. Can the political ambition of young women be increased? Evidence from U.S. high school students. Q. J. Political Sci 17:2 In press
    [Google Scholar]
  43. Kam CD, Palmer CL. 2008. Reconsidering the effects of education on political participation. J. Politics 70:3612–31
    [Google Scholar]
  44. Kam CD, Palmer CL. 2011. Rejoinder: reinvestigating the causal relationship between higher education and political participation. J. Politics 73:3659–63
    [Google Scholar]
  45. Katosh JP, Traugott MW. 1981. The consequences of validated and self-reported voting measures. Public Opin. Q 45:4519–35
    [Google Scholar]
  46. King G, Nielsen RA 2019. Why propensity scores should not be used for matching. Political Anal. 27:4435–54
    [Google Scholar]
  47. Klofstad CA. 2015. Exposure to political discussion in college is associated with higher rates of political participation over time. Political Commun. 32:2292–309
    [Google Scholar]
  48. Langton KP. 1967. Peer group and school and the political socialization process. Am. Political Sci. Rev 61:3751–58
    [Google Scholar]
  49. Langton KP, Jennings MK. 1968. Political socialization and the high school civics curriculum in the United States. Am. Political Sci. Rev 62:3852–67
    [Google Scholar]
  50. Langton KP, Jennings K, Niemi R 1974. Effects of the high school civics curriculum. Political Character of Adolescence: The Influence of Families and Schools181–206 Princeton, NJ: Princeton Univ. Press
    [Google Scholar]
  51. Lareau A. 2011. Unequal Childhoods: Class, Race, and Family Life Berkeley/Los Angeles: Univ. Calif. Press. , 2nd ed..
  52. Marshall J. 2016. Coarsening bias: how coarse treatment measurement upwardly biases instrumental variable estimates. Political Anal. 24:2157–71
    [Google Scholar]
  53. Marshall J. 2019. The anti-democrat diploma: how high school education decreases support for the Democratic Party. Am. J. Political Sci 63:167–83
    [Google Scholar]
  54. Mayer AK. 2011. Does education increase political participation?. J. Politics 73:3633–45
    [Google Scholar]
  55. McConnaughy C. 2013. The Woman Suffrage Movement in America: A Reassessment Cambridge, UK: Cambridge Univ. Press
  56. McDevitt M, Kiousis S. 2006. Experiments in political socialization: Kids Voting USA as a model for civic education reform. CIRCLE Work. Pap. 49. Cent. Inf. Res.Civic Learn. Engagem. (CIRCLE) Univ. Maryland College Park, MD: https://eric.ed.gov/?id=ED494074
  57. McDonald M. 2020. Voter turnout demographics. United States Elections Project http://www.electproject.org/home/voter-turnout/demographics. Accessed May 2021
    [Google Scholar]
  58. Mendelberg T, Mérola V, Raychaudhuri T, Thal A. 2020. When poor students attend rich schools: Do affluent social environments increase or decrease participation?. Perspect. Politics 19:3807–23
    [Google Scholar]
  59. Milbrath LW, Goel ML. 1982. Political Participation: How and Why Do People Get Involved in Politics? Lanham, MD: Univ. Press Am.. , 2nd ed..
  60. Milligan K, Moretti E, Oreopoulos P 2003. Does education improve citizenship? Evidence from the United States and the United Kingdom. J. Public Econ 88:1667–95
    [Google Scholar]
  61. Nelsen MD. 2019. Cultivating youth engagement: race & the behavioral effects of critical pedagogy. Political Behav 43:751–84
    [Google Scholar]
  62. Nie NH, Hillygus S 2008. Education and democratic citizenship. Making Good Citizens D Ravitch, J Viteritti 3057. New Haven, CT: Yale Univ. Press
    [Google Scholar]
  63. Nie NH, Junn J, Stehlik-Barry K. 1996. Education and Democratic Citizenship in America Chicago: Univ. Chicago Press
  64. Pasek J, Feldman L, Romer D, Jamieson KH 2008. Schools as incubators of democratic participation: building long-term political efficacy with civic education. Appl. Dev. Sci 12:126–37
    [Google Scholar]
  65. Persson M. 2015. Education and political participation. Br. J. Political Sci 45:3689–703
    [Google Scholar]
  66. Prior M. 2018. Hooked: How Politics Captures People's Interest Cambridge, UK: Cambridge Univ. Press
  67. Putnam R. 2015. Our Kids: The American Dream in Crisis New York: Simon & Schuster
  68. Reardon S 2011. The widening academic achievement gap between the rich and poor: new evidence and possible explanations. Whither Opportunity: Rising Inequality, Schools, and Children's Life Chances GJ Duncan, RJ Murnane 91116. New York: Russell Sage Found.
    [Google Scholar]
  69. Sapiro V. 2004. Not your parents’ political socialization: introduction for a new generation. Annu. Rev. Political Sci 7:1–23
    [Google Scholar]
  70. Schattschneider EE. 1960. The Semisovereign People: A Realist's View of Democracy in America Austin, TX:: Holt, Rinehart & Winston
  71. Schlozman KL, Verba S, Brady HE. 2012. The Unheavenly Chorus: Unequal Political Voice and the Broken Promise of American Democracy Princeton, NJ: Princeton Univ. Press
  72. Sondheimer RM, Green DP. 2010. Using experiments to estimate the effects of education on voter turnout. Am. J. Political Sci 54:1174–89
    [Google Scholar]
  73. Stoker L, Bass J. 2011. Political socialization. The Oxford Handbook of American Public Opinion and the Media G Edwards III, L Jacobs, R Shapiro 45270. Oxford, UK: Oxford Univ. Press
    [Google Scholar]
  74. Teele DL. 2018. Forging the Franchise: The Political Origins of the Women's Vote Princeton, NJ: Princeton Univ. Press
  75. Tenn S. 2007. The effect of education on voter turnout. Political Anal 15:4446–64
    [Google Scholar]
  76. Torney-Purta J, Wilkenfeld BS 2009. Paths to 21st century competencies through civic education classrooms: an analysis of survey results from ninth-graders Tech. Assist. Bull., Am. Bar Assoc. Div. Public Educ. Chicago, IL:
  77. Verba S, Nie N. 1972. Participation in America: Political Democracy and Social Equality New York: Harper & Row
  78. Verba S, Schlozman KL, Brady HE. 1995. Voice and Equality: Civic Voluntarism in American Politics Cambridge, MA: Harvard Univ. Press
  79. Verba S, Schlozman KL, Burns N 2005. Family ties: understanding the intergenerational transmission of political participation. The Social Logic of Politics: Personal Networks as Contexts for Political Behavior A Zuckerman 95115. Philadelphia: Temple Univ. Press
    [Google Scholar]
  80. Weinschenk AC, Dawes CT. 2021. Civic education in high school and voter turnout in adulthood. Br. J. Political Sci https://doi.org/10.1017/S0007123420000435
    [Crossref] [Google Scholar]
  81. Wolfinger R, Rosenstone S. 1980. Who Votes? New Haven, CT: Yale Univ. Press
/content/journals/10.1146/annurev-polisci-051120-014235
Loading
/content/journals/10.1146/annurev-polisci-051120-014235
Loading

Data & Media loading...

  • Article Type: Review Article
This is a required field
Please enter a valid email address
Approval was a Success
Invalid data
An Error Occurred
Approval was partially successful, following selected items could not be processed due to error