The Civic Culture: Political Attitudes and Democracy in Five Nations

The Civic Culture: Political Attitudes and Democracy in Five Nations

The Civic Culture: Political Attitudes and Democracy in Five Nations

The Civic Culture: Political Attitudes and Democracy in Five Nations

Synopsis

This classic text is a comparative political study, based on extensive survey data that defined and analysed the Greek concept of civic virtuelture: the political and social attitudes that are crucial to the success of modern democracy in Western nations. Cited extensively, the book was origionall published in 1963.

Excerpt

This new edition of the paperback version of The Civic Culture appears almost 25 years after the appearance of the first edition. In the course of its lifetime this first edition went through 14 reprintings. It is re-published simultaneously with The Civic Culture Revisited which brought the findings up to date as of 1980, and which reports the polemic which the earlier book occasioned. Keeping these books in print and available to social scientists is justified by the fact that the polemic about the civic culture has a continuing place in political theory.

While generally recognized as a baseline study in comparative politics, and as a contribution to the theory of democracy, The Civic Culture has also acquired the reputation of having celebrated the stabilizing consequences for democracy of political apathy. In this connection the timing of the study is of importance. It was conceived in the late 1950s. The surveys were administered in 1959 and 1960. The immediate past history of democracy was of great importance in its conception. Its authors looked back on the historical experience of the 1930s, '40s, and '50s, the tragic sequence of democratic breakdowns, policy failures, and fascist aggressions culminating in World War II. But they also looked forward to the problems of democratic stabilization in the post- war continental European countries, and democratic modernization in the newly emancipated Third World.

It was evident from the study that democratization of the European continent and democratization of the Third World would take more than the simple introduction or reintroduction of universal suffrage and political institutions providing for popular rule. Was there anything that could be learned from the democratic . . .

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