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

Article


Finkel, S., Neundorf, A. and Rascon Ramirez, E. 2023. Can online civic education induce democratic citizenship? Experimental evidence from a new democracy. American Journal of Political Science. https://doi.org/10.1111/ajps.12765
TypeArticle
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? We designed and tested three original civic education interventions to answer this question, using Tunisia as a case study. Participants were recruited through Facebook and Instagram where they were randomly assigned to either one of three treatment groups or a placebo. Two treatments were derived from prospect theory, emphasizing the gains of a democratic system, or the losses of an autocratic system. 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 has a considerable effect on democratic citizenship, including a significant reduction in authoritarian nostalgia and increasing intended political behavior. We further find differences between the three treatments, with the loss and gain treatments having overall more consistent impact than self-efficacy, though the latter frame has notable effects on political efficacy and registration.

KeywordsDemocratic consolidation; civic education; social media; online experiments; prospect theory; self-efficacy
Sustainable Development Goals11 Sustainable cities and communities
16 Peace, justice and strong institutions
Middlesex University ThemeSustainability
LanguageEnglish
PublisherWiley
JournalAmerican Journal of Political Science
ISSN0092-5853
Electronic1540-5907
Publication dates
Online25 Jan 2023
Publication process dates
Deposited21 Nov 2022
Accepted14 Nov 2022
Publisher's version
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Digital Object Identifier (DOI)https://doi.org/10.1111/ajps.12765
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