Democracy, when boiled down to one person, one vote, explicitly demands equality. When examining who votes and otherwise participates, however, we all too frequently encounter an unequal reality: although modern democracies espouse the ideal of political equality, economic inequality severely constrains an egalitarian exercise of political rights. Both the level and the distribution of political participation and democratic engagement vary widely across countries, leaving us wondering how some countries have achieved greater political equality than others, and, more specifically, what role does the welfare state play in shaping democratic citizenship? Can the welfare state, in addressing income-based inequality, also alleviate the related political inequalities and thereby encourage political equality? These are the main questions examined in this book.
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