How Welfare States Shape the Democratic Public
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How Welfare States Shape the Democratic Public

Policy Feedback, Participation, Voting, and Attitudes

  • Globalization and Welfare series

Edited by Staffan Kumlin and Isabelle Stadelmann-Steffen

Staffan Kumlin and Isabelle Stadelmann-Steffen bring together political scientists and sociologists from different and frequently separated research communities to examine policy feedback in European welfare states. In doing so, they offer a rich menu of different methodological approaches. The book demonstrates how long-term policy legacies and short-term policy change affect the public, but also shows that such processes are contingent on individual characteristics and political context.
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Chapter 4: Varieties of capitalism, education and inequalities in political participation

Marius R. Busemeyer and Achim Goerres

Extract

We examine the link between a crucial set of policies and their outcomes (education) and the most fundamental form of political participation(electoral participation). In scholarship on political behaviour, the positive association between individual educational background and political participation is one of the most prominent and robust findings (e.g. Brady et al. 1995). On the macro level, scholars note the positive and reinforcing relationship between educational expansion and democratization (Ansell 2010; Kamens 1988). With a few exceptions (Mettler and Welch 2004 for the case of the US), however, the feedback effects from education policies on the micro level of political participation have not been studied. This chapter addresses this research gap. More concretely, we argue that the institutional set-up of the education system shapes the micro-level effect of educational background on participation as the effects of a particular educational attainment in terms of motivation, networks and resources varies by institutional and socioeconomic context. We therefore distinguish between different kinds of education, in particular basic, vocational and academic. Here, our chapter taps into the recent literature on the link between varieties of capitalism, socio-economic inequality and political participation (e.g. Anderson and Beramendi 2008; Anderson and Singer 2008; Sch‰fer 2010; Schlozman et al. 2012).

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