The Civic Culture Transformed: From Allegiant to Assertive Citizens
Russell Dalton speaks on his new book, "The Civic Culture Transformed: From Allegiant to Assertive Citizens" as part of CDDRL's Research Seminar Series
The original Civic Culture model portrayed the ideal democratic citizen as an “allegiant” personality who dutifully participates in elections to entrust elites with legitimate power. The allegiant citizen trusts elites, the decision making process and institutions and abstains from disruptive non-electoral participation. The new book, The Civic Culture Transformed, argues that this model is outdated. In established democracies around the world, citizens have turned away from allegiance towards a decidedly “assertive” posture to politics: they are less trustful of politicians, parties and institutions, and are more likely to challenge government with their political demands. Most important, societies in which this transition from an allegiant to an assertive model of citizenship is most advanced are better performing democracies—in terms of both accountable and effective governance.