Can online civic education induce democratic citizenship? Experimental evidence from a new democracy

Pre-print


Finkel, S., Neundorf, A. and Rascon Ramirez, E. 2021. Can online civic education induce democratic citizenship? Experimental evidence from a new democracy. https://doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3778600
TypePre-print
TitleCan online civic education induce democratic citizenship? Experimental evidence from a new democracy
AuthorsFinkel, S., Neundorf, A. and Rascon Ramirez, E.
Abstract

How can democratic values and behavior be induced in new democracies? To answer this question, we test the impact of original civic education interventions in Tunisia, implementing an experiment with subjects recruited through Facebook and Instagram. Participants were randomly assigned to three treatment groups and one placebo group. Two treatments were derived from prospect theory, emphasizing the benefits or gains of a democratic system, or the losses by pitting autocracy versus democracy. A third treatment, derived from self-efficacy theory, provided practical information regarding participation in the upcoming 2019 elections. Our findings suggest that online civic education can have a considerable effect on democratic citizenship, including a significant reduction in authoritarian nostalgia and increasing intended political behavior such as electoral registration. Effects are strongest among those less engaged in the electoral process. When comparing the treatments across outcomes, we find that loss/gain-framed interventions are most effective in promoting democratic orientations.

LanguageEnglish
Preprint server/collectionThe Social Science Research Network (SSRN)
ISSN1556-5068
Electronic1556-5068
Publication dates
Print18 Feb 2021
Publication process dates
Deposited15 Dec 2021
Accepted03 Feb 2021
Output statusPublished
First submitted version
File Access Level
Restricted
Digital Object Identifier (DOI)https://doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3778600
PublisherElsevier
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