Democracy and citizenship in Scandinavia by J. Anderson, Jens Hoff

By J. Anderson, Jens Hoff

Checklist of Figures --
List of Tables --
Preface --
Introduction --
Political Engagement --
Electoral Participation --
Political events --
Participation in Voluntary institutions --
Participation in alternate Unions --
Workplace Democracy in Scandinavia --
User Participation in Scandinavia: the 'third citizenship'? --
Political motion and Political mistrust --
Marginalization and Citizenship --
Reluctant Europeans: The Scandinavians and the problem of the ecu Union --
Immigrants, Refugees, and Citizenship in Scandinavia --

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Finally, the welfare state may contribute to enhancing political engagement – and offset the marginalizing tendencies outlined above – (i) by reducing social inequality; (ii) by socializing children to active citizenship;3 (iii) by providing new channels of participation; and (iv) by making politics more salient. Objectively speaking, Scandinavians have more stake in politics (as public employees, or as users of the social services and transfers) than the citizens of most other countries. Indeed, government’s increasing share of the economy has been suggested as an explanation of the longterm increase in the levels of political interest in Western European societies (van Deth 1991), but this hypothesis has rarely been tested.

The Swedish data are more reliable because they are checked against voters’ registers and subsequently weighted. At worst, the Danish data may give an exaggerated impression of nonvoting among groups where nonvoting is regarded as socially acceptable behavior. 8 Age differences are more surprising since they seem to be increasing (although somewhat more convincingly in terms of percentage differences than in terms of odds ratios) both in Denmark and Sweden.

However, this finding has been consistent since 1971, indicating that this should rather be explained from an adult socialization model: The better-educated achieve political interest from education, the less-educated from life experience. 6. Although the interaction effect is statistically significant only in Denmark (at the 1 per cent level), all three countries reveal a common pattern, that is, the effects of education are smallest among the young. This is in line with the predictions from the ‘welfare’ model and contradicts the three others; but there are, of course, possible alternative explanations (such as, for example, media influence).

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