The Political Psychology of Democratic Citizenship

Research output: Book/ReportBook

20 Scopus citations


While scholars in political science, social psychology and mass communications have made notable contributions to our understanding of democratic citizenship, they concentrate on very different aspects of the overall problem. The current volume challenges this fragmentary pattern of inquiry, and adopts an interdisciplinary approach to the analysis of citizenship, which holds great potential for insight and integration across topic areas, and for the development of informed interventions aimed at meeting challenges faced by democratic citizens. The volume is organized around five themes related to democratic citizenship: citizen knowledge about politics; persuasion processes and intervention processes; group identity, and perception of individual citizens and social groups; hate crimes and intolerance; and the challenge of rapid changes in technology and mass media. These themes address the key challenges to existing perspectives on citizenship, represent themes that are central to the health of democratic societies, and reflect ongoing lines of research that offer important contributions to an interdisciplinary political psychology perspective on citizenship. These also represent themes for which scholars may not be aware of work in other disciplines on the same topic, or where scholars are insufficiently aware of such work and might well benefit from greater intellectual commerce. In other words, these are themes that provide opportunities for the interdisciplinary cross-talk that characterizes contributions to this volume by scholars from psychology, political science, sociology, and mass communications. In the final section, commentators reflect on different aspects of the scholarly agenda put forth in this volume, including what this body of work suggests about the state of political psychology's contributions to our understanding of these issues. Thus, the volume aims to provide a multifaceted, interdisciplinary look at the political psychology of democratic citizenship. The interdisciplinary bent of contemporary work in political psychology may uniquely equip it to provide us with a more nuanced understanding of citizenship issues - and perhaps even of competing democratic theories - in democratic societies.

Original languageEnglish (US)
PublisherOxford University Press
Number of pages400
ISBN (Electronic)9780199893904
ISBN (Print)9780195335453
StatePublished - Apr 1 2010

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2009 by Oxford University Press, Inc. All rights reserved.


  • Civic knowledge
  • Democratic citizenship
  • Group identity
  • Hate crimes
  • Interdisciplinary
  • Mass media
  • Persuasion
  • Political psychology
  • Tolerance


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