Is There a Unified Recipe to Predict Civic Engagement? Comparisons of 47 European Countries

Thursday, July 17, 2014: 4:30 PM
Room: Booth 51
Distributed Paper
Alla MARCHENKO , Taras Shevchenko National University of Kyiv, Kyiv, Ukraine
This presentation is focused on comparative framework of civic engagement in contemporary Europe. The database of the European Values Study (2008)  is used as a main set of information, though some indexes (e.g. World Bank's, Freedom House' indicators) are used as a supplementary source. The scope of the research takes into account 47 countries. Civic engagement is conceptualized in three aspects: cognition-status-action as possessing the knowledge, skills, and values needed to enhance the community and their expression through attitudes and behaviour (Ehrlich, Doolitlle, Faul). It is seen as the indicator of civil society and democracy formation (Mill, Coleman, Tocqueville) and, at the same time, as one of the elements of social capital (in both bridging and bonding meanings). Attention is paid to the differences of 1) content and actors of civic engagement in Europe and 2) factors that shape civic engagement in its two parts, namely Post-Socialist and developed Europe. In such a way, the main idea of the paper is to clarify whether in the latter prevail contextual, external factors, while individual factors of civic engagement dominate in the former. Thus, the levels of analysis include both individual and country, main methods are correlational and regressional analysis. The research is implemented individually under the guidance of Laboratory for Comparative Social Research in the National Research University "Higher School of Economics", Russia.