How do Civic Associations Foster Political Participation? The Role of Scope and Intensity of Organizational Involvement

Hui Li, Jiasheng Zhang
2017 Nonprofit Policy Forum  
AbstractThis paper investigates factors associated with individuals' decisions in engaging in various modes of political participation, including voting, formal and informal political activities. Two aspects of civic association involvement are highlighted: scope and intensity. Using data from the U.S. Citizenship, Involvement, and Democracy Survey in 2006, we find that one's memberships in civic associations only explain one's participation in formal political activities, but the intensity of
more » ... t the intensity of involvement, measured by the number of activities one performs at one's most active voluntary association, is positively associated with both formal and informal participation modes. Neither the scope nor the intensity explains voting behavior. The study suggests ways to promote the development of civic associations and enhance democracy.
doi:10.1515/npf-2016-0010 fatcat:47vstr4bpzgsjjxh44dyoyy6aq