The Civic Culture Transformed. From Allegiant to Assertive Citizens


This book reevaluates Almond, Verba, and Pye's original ideas about the shape of a civic culture that supports democracy. Marshaling a massive amount of cross-national, longitudinal public opinion data from the World Values Survey Association, the authors demonstrate multiple manifestations of a deep shift in the mass attitudes and behaviors that undergird democracy. The chapters in this book show that in dozens of countries around the world, citizens have turned away from allegiance toward a decidedly “assertive” posture to politics: they have become more distrustful of electoral politics, institutions, and representatives and are more ready to confront elites with demands from below. Most importantly, societies that have advanced the most in the transition from an allegiant to an assertive model of citizenship are better-performing democracies – in terms of both accountable and effective governance.

  • One of the few collective works in which all the chapters are integrated by a common theoretical framework and refer to the same database, the World Values Survey Association's surveys
  • Provides a uniquely comprehensive and yet multifaceted account of some of the most fundamental cultural changes in modern-day democracies
  • Offers a wealth of evidence from approximately one hundred societies around the world, representing more than ninety percent of the world's population

Russell J. Dalton is a Professor of Political Science and the founding director of the Center for the Study of Democracy at the University of California, Irvine.
Christian Welzel is Chair of Political Culture Research at the Center for the Study of Democracy, Leuphana University Lueneburg, Germany, and President of the World Values Survey Association.

Dalton, Russell J./ Welzel, Christian (Hrsg.): The Civic Culture Transformed. From Allegiant to Assertive Citizens, 2014, New York: Cambridge University Press, 329 Seiten, $32.99, ISBN 978-1-107-68272-6