Community Size, Social Capital, and Political Participation in Latin America

  • Miguel CarrerasEmail author
  • Shaun Bowler
Original Paper


Political participation is often conceived of as a largely individual act. In this paper we emphasize the context in which that choice is made: features of that context make some choices more likely than others both in terms of the decision to participate but also in terms of the kinds of participation in which to engage. In particular, we examine the role that social capital plays in shaping political participation in Latin America. We show that higher levels of social capital promote more conventional forms of political participation such as voting and contacting elected representatives. Given marked differences in levels of social capital across rural and urban areas we are therefore able to show that there exists a geography of political participation across Latin America.


Political participation Social capital Turnout Latin America 

Supplementary material

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Supplementary material 1 (PDF 389 kb)


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Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Political ScienceUC RiversideRiversideUSA

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