Culture on the Rise: How and Why Cultural Membership Promotes Democratic Politics

  • Filipe Carreira da Silva
  • Terry Nichols Clark
  • Susana Cabaço


Selectively using Tocqueville, many social scientists suggest that civic participation increases democracy. We go beyond this neo-Tocquevillian model in three ways. First, to capture broader political and economic transformations, we consider different types of participation; results change if we analyze separate participation arenas. Some are declining, but a dramatic finding is the rise of arts and culture. Second, to assess impacts of participation, we study more dimensions of democratic politics, including distinct norms of citizenship and their associated political repertoires. Third, by analyzing global International Social Survey Programme and World Values Survey data, we identify dramatic subcultural differences: the Tocquevillian model is positive, negative, or zero in different subcultures and contexts that we explicate.


Political culture Civic participation Citizenship Voluntary organizations 



Thanks for advice and data analysis assistance to Rita Costa, Cátia Nunes and Jonah Kushner, and Scenes Project participants at the University of Chicago. Direct correspondence to Terry Clark, University of Chicago, 1126 E. 59th St. #322, Chicago, IL 60637, USA; Filipe Carreira da Silva, ICS-UL, Av. Aníbal de Bettencourt 9, 1600-189 Lisboa, Portugal.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  • Filipe Carreira da Silva
    • 1
  • Terry Nichols Clark
    • 1
  • Susana Cabaço
    • 1
  1. 1.University of LisbonLisbonPortugal

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