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Education and political participation: the impact of educational environments

  • Jacob Aars
  • Dag Arne Christensen
Original Article
  • 46 Downloads

Abstract

What are the effects of educational environments on individual-level political participation? There is abundant evidence that education at the individual level affects political participation. However, we lack studies that systematically link the effect of individual-level education to that of the environment. For example, what are the effects of being a member of a high vs. low education community? Using a dataset composed of a Norwegian citizen survey comprising more than 11,000 respondents living in 414 municipalities, we relate the effect of education at the individual level to that of the educational environment. The analyses reveal that the educational gap is smaller in high-educated environments and is in fact neutralized in those municipalities that have the greatest share of educated citizens. Thus, the Norwegian case lends support to the relative educational model; the higher the level of education in the environment, the smaller the effect of individual-level education. Judging from our study, citizens with few resources are not lifted by their environment, but educated citizens tend to free-ride in resourceful environments.

Keywords

Political participation Local democracy Educational environment Contextual effects 

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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Limited 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Administration and Organization TheoryUniversity of BergenBergenNorway
  2. 2.Uni Research Rokkan CentreBergenNorway

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