This chapter explores two psychological orientations that support democratic governance. First, robust democracies require citizens to tolerate others' efforts to participate in politics, even if they promote unpopular views. Research shows that citizens' political tolerance is influenced strongly by the depth of their commitment to democratic values, by their personality, and by the degree to which they perceive others as threatening. Cross-national research generalizes many of these findings to other countries. Second, robust democracies need citizens who will participate in politics. Almond and Verba's cross-national research shows that interpersonal trust and other features of political culture enhance citizen involvement in politics. Inglehart expanded the political culture framework in his work on post-materialism, interpersonal trust, life satisfaction, and cognitive mobilization. Recent theories of social capital also emphasize the role of generalized interpersonal trust, membership in voluntary associations, and norms of reciprocity in enhancing political participation and democracy.


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  • Article Type: Review Article
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