World Library  
Flag as Inappropriate
Email this Article

Civic engagement

Article Id: WHEBN0002931151
Reproduction Date:

Title: Civic engagement  
Author: World Heritage Encyclopedia
Language: English
Subject: Social capital, Textizen, National Broadband Plan (United States), Inclusive Management, Community building
Collection: Community Building, Community Organizing, Youth
Publisher: World Heritage Encyclopedia

Civic engagement

Civic participation- The encouragement of the general public to become involved in the political process and the issues that affect the community.


  • Forms 1
  • The Role of Volunteerism in Transforming Governance 2
  • Civic Engagement in the Role of Local Government 3
    • Volunteering in the Local Level 3.1
    • Community Collaboration 3.2
  • Civic Engagement in the Role of State Government 4
    • Application in Health 4.1
    • In Comparison with other Countries 4.2
    • The Importance of Voter Turnout in Civic Engagement 4.3
  • The Role of Higher Education 5
    • Civic learning 5.1
  • See also 6
  • References 7
  • External links 8


Civic engagement can take many forms—from individual community to solve a problem or interact with the institutions of representative democracy.[1] Another way of describing this concept is the sense of personal responsibility individuals feel to uphold their obligations, as part of any community. "Youth civic engagement" has identical aims, only with consideration for youth voice.

A study published by the Center for Information & Research on Civic Learning & Engagement at Tufts University, divided civic engagement into 3 categories: civic, electoral, and political voice.[2] Scholars of youth engagement online have called for a broader interpretation of civic engagement that focuses on the purpose behind current institutions and activities and include emerging institutions and activities that achieve the same purposes.[3] These civic engagement researchers suggest that the reduction of civic life into small sets of explicitly electoral behaviors may be insufficient to describe the full spectrum of public involvement in civic life.

Measures of civic engagement[2]
Civic Electoral Political voice
Community problem solving Regular voting Contacting officials
Regular volunteering for a non-electoral organization Persuading others to vote Contacting the print media
Active membership in a group or association Displaying buttons, signs, stickers Contacting the broadcast media
Participation in fund-raising run/walk/ride Campaign contributions Protesting
Other fund-raising for charity Volunteering for candidate or political organizations Email petitions
Run for Political office Registering voters Written petitions
Symbolic Non-Participation Boycotting

An alarm was sounded at the beginning of the 21st Century about changes in civic participation patterns by

  • [4]
  • Collective Agency
  • The Citizen's Handbook
  • Community University Engagement
  • Center for Civic Engagement at University of South Florida, St. Petersburg
  • Center for Information and Research on Civic Learning and Engagement (CIRCLE) at the Jonathan M. Tisch College of Citizenship & Public Service, Tufts University
  • Civic engagement through City Wikis and Civic Wikis. - PortlandWiki's City Wiki page.
  • Northumberland Civic Engagement
  • Civic Engagement Center at Central Washington University
  • WHYY Civic Engagement Project
  • Penn Project for Civic Engagement at the University of Pennsylvania Graduate School of Education
  • The Center for Future Civic Media, Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
  • The Do Good Gauge is a research proposal encouraging civic engagement. The website attempts to facilitate public authorship in pursuit of civic virtue.
  • Center for Civic Engagement at the University of Texas at Brownsville and Texas Southmost College.
  • Student Voices a project of the Annenberg Public Policy Center of the University of Pennsylvania
  • Model for Community Change Jacksonville Community Council Inc (JCCI), Jacksonville, FL]
  • Civic Learning and Engagement in Democracy
  • Other Forms of political Participation
  • Evaluation of a State Health Insurance Program for Low-Income Children: Implications for State Child Health Insurance Programs
  • The public is too subjective’: public involvement at different levels of health-care decision making
  • Civic Engagement
  • [5]

External links

  1. ^ Ekman, Joakim & Amnå, Erik (2012). Political participation and civic engagement: towards a new typology. Human Affairs, vol 22, no 3, pp. 283-300.
  2. ^ a b Keeter, Scott; Cliff Zukin; Molly Andolina; Krista Jenkins (2002-09-19). "The civic and political health of a nation: a generational portrait" (PDF). Center for Information & Research on Civic Learning & Engagement. Retrieved 2012-07-05. 
  3. ^ Middaugh, Ellen; Jerusha Conner; David Donahue; Antero Garcia; Joseph Kahne; Ben Kirshner; Peter Levin (2012-01-01). "Service & Activism in the Digital Age Supporting Youth Engagement in Public Life" (PDF). DML Central. Retrieved 2012-09-24. 
  4. ^ Putnam, R (2000). Bowling Alone. Simon and Schuster: New York. p.64.
  5. ^ 2015 State of the World's Volunteerism Report – Transforming Governance
  6. ^ Online Volunteering service, Experiences
  7. ^
  8. ^
  9. ^ "Engaging the Public at a Local Level to Strengthen Civic Engagement". San Antonio Area Foundation. Retrieved 4 December 2013. 
  10. ^ Szilagyi, Peter G., et al. "Evaluation of a state health insurance program for low-income children: implications for state child health insurance programs."Pediatrics 105.2 (2000): 363-371
  11. ^ a b Litva, Andrea, et al. "‘The public is too subjective’: public involvement at different levels of health-care decision making." Social Science & Medicine 54.12 (2002): 1825-1837.
  12. ^ Andrew Roush, . N.p.. Web. 3 Dec 2013. .
  13. ^ "Civic Engagement." N.p.. Web. 3 Dec 2013. .
  14. ^>.
  15. ^ a b "Civic Engagement." N.p.. Web. 3 Dec 2013.
  16. ^ . N.p.. Web. 5 Dec 2013. .
  17. ^ Prentice, M. & G. Robinson (2010) Linking Service Learning and Civic Engagement in Community College Students. American Association of Community Colleges: Washington, D.C.
  18. ^ [1]
  19. ^ McCartney, A., Bennion, E. & D. Simpson (2013). Teaching Civic Engagement: From Student to Active Citizen. American Political Science Association: Washington, D.C., p.XIV.
  20. ^ a b [2]
  21. ^ [3]
  22. ^ The National Task Force of Civic Learning and Democratic Engagement. 2012. A Crucible Moment: College Learning and Democracy's Future. Washington, DC: American Association of Colleges and Universities.
  23. ^ Colby, A., Beaumont, E., Ehrlich, T, & J. Corngold. (2007) Educating for Democracy: Preparing Undergraduates for Responsible Political Engagement. The Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching. Jossey-Bass: San Francisco. p.16-17.
  24. ^ U.S. Department of Education, Office of the Under Secretary and Office of Postsecondary Education, Advancing Civic Learning and Engagement in Democracy: A Road Map and Call to Action, Washington, D.C., 2012. p.22-26.


See also

9. Highlight and promote student and family participation in education programs and policies at the federal and local levels."[24]

8. Engage Historically Black Colleges and Universities and other Minority-Serving Institutions—including Hispanic Serving Institutions, Asian American and Native American Pacific Islander–Serving Institutions, and Tribal Colleges and Universities-in a national dialogue to identify best practices.

7. Support civic learning for a well-rounded K–12 curriculum.

6. Encourage public service careers among college students and graduates.

5. Encourage community-based work-study placements.

4. Leverage federal investments and public-private partnerships.

3. Identify promising practices in civic learning and democratic engagement—and encourage further research to learn what works.

2. Identify additional civic indicators.

1. Convene and catalyze schools and post-secondary institutions to increase and enhance high-quality civic learning and engagement

In January 2012, the U.S. Department of Education issued a road map and a call to action entitled Advancing Civic Learning and Engagement in Democracy that offers nine steps to enhancing the Department of Education's commitment to civic learning and engagement in democracy. These steps include:

Civic learning

These higher education-based initiatives endeavor to build in college students, a politically engaged identity while enhancing the capacity to evaluate the political landscape and make informed decisions about participation in our democracy.[23] As evidenced by the growth in coalitions, professional development opportunities and civic education research, institutions of higher education and their association partners are committed to help prepare the next generation of citizens to become tomorrow's "Stewards of Place."[20]

4. Advance civic action through transformative partnerships.[22]

3. Practice civic inquiry across all fields of study.

2. Make civic literacy a core expectation for all students.

1. Foster a civic ethos across the campus culture.

To answer this challenge, the incorporation of service learning into collegiate course design has gained acceptance as a pedagogy that links curricular content with civic education. In a recent study, students who participated in service learning even one time appear to have made gains in knowledge of and commitment to civic engagement when compared to non-service learners.[17] Campus Compact, a coalition of nearly 1200 college presidents (as of 2013) promotes the development of citizenship skills by creating community partnerships and providing resources to train faculty to integrate civic and community-based learning into the curriculum.[18] Building on the acceptance of service learning and civic engagement in higher education, The Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement in Teaching created the Political Engagement Project in 2003 to develop the political knowledge and skills of college-aged students.[19] The American Democracy Project (ADP) was launched in the same year by the American Association of State Colleges and Universities (AASCU).[20] The American Democracy Project was joined by the American Democracy Commitment,[21] a partnership of community colleges, to sponsor an annual national conference focused on higher education’s role in preparing the next generation of informed, engaged citizens. The American Democracy Project also sponsors campus-based initiatives including voter registration, curriculum revision projects, and special days of action and reflection, such as the MLK Day of Service. In a report entitled, A Crucible Moment: College Learning and Democracy's Future issued in 2012 by the National Task Force on Civic Learning and Democratic Engagement, a joint project of the U.S. Department of Education and the American Association of Colleges and Universities, the authors argue that higher education must serve as an intellectual incubator and socially responsible partner in advancing civic learning and democratic engagement. The report recommends four basic steps to build civic minded institutions:

The Role of Higher Education

Low participation with politics in the state and local government can result in less community involvement. Civic engagement may not be a concern to the people due to lack of funding and leadership directed towards that issue of community involvement.[16]

Example of Low Voter Turnout

• There is easy access to information about government activities, decision-making, solicit and use public input, and encourage public employees to donate and serve.[15]

• The state can help promote civic engagement by ensuring fair voter and redistricting processes; by building partnerships among government agencies, non-profit organizations, and private citizens; and by maintaining networks of information about volunteer and charitable opportunities.[15]

Example of High Voter Turnout

One of the main factors that determine civic engagement among the people is voter turnout. Voter turnout gauges citizens’ level of political involvement, an important component of civic engagement—and a prerequisite for maintaining public accountability.[14]

The state can help promote civic engagement by ensuring fair voter and redistricting processes; by building partnerships among government agencies, non-profit organizations, and private citizens; and by maintaining networks of information about volunteer and charitable opportunities.[13]

The goal for state government in elections is to promote civic engagement. Director Regina Lawrence of Annette Strauss Institute for Civic Life states “Politics and all other forms of engagement are really about trying to make your community, your state, and your nation a better place to live.” [12] Voter Turnout ensures civic engagement among the state with incentives that promises volunteer organizations, charity, and political involvement with everyone in the community who will have a voice to be heard.

The Importance of Voter Turnout in Civic Engagement

  • Their research included critical examination of the degree of involvement by the public in healthcare decision making. It is suggested that “public participation in decision making can promote goals, bind individuals or groups together, impart a sense of competence and responsibility and help express political or civic identity”.[11] The action of the citizens aimed at influencing decisions of representatives ultimately affects the state as a whole. Voting is a key component in civic engagement for the voice of the masses to be heard.
  • States practicing public involvement and implementing public health programs to better benefit the needs of the society is a concept that is also shared by other countries, such as England. A study conducted by Department of Primary Care, University of Liverpool, the Department of Social Medicine, University of Bristol, the Department of Geography and Geology, McMaster Institute of Environment and Health, McMaster University, Avon Health Authority, the School of Journalism, Tom Hopkinson Centre for Media Research, Media and Cultural Studies, Cardiff University, and the Department of Clinical Epidemiology and Biostatistics, Centre for Health Economics and Policy Analysis, McMaster University stated that “There are a number of impulses towards public participation in health care decision making including instrumentalist, communitarian, educative and expressive impulses and the desire for increased accountability”[11]

In Comparison with other Countries

• States implement public health programs to better benefit the needs of the society. The State Child Health Insurance Program, for example, (SCHIP) is the largest public investment in child health care aiding over 11 million uninsured children in the United States. “This statewide health insurance program for low-income children was associated with improved access, utilization, and quality of care, suggesting that SCHIP has the potential to improve health care for low-income American children.".[10] States take part in the program and sculpt it to better fit the needs of that state’s demographics, making their healthcare and the civic engagement process of individuals that take part in the program as well help reform and fix it apart of the state’s identity.

Application in Health

  • Civic engagement has an interrelated relationship within the various entities of the state. Through the values, knowledge, liberties, skills, ideas, attitudes and beliefs the population holds, civic engagement cultivates and shapes the state to be a representation of vast cultural, social, and economic identities.
  • Civic Engagement applied within the state is not possible without local civic engagement. As in a democratic society, citizens are the source to give life to a representative democracy. Application of this principle can be found within programs and laws that states have implemented based in a variety of areas concerns for that particular state. Health, education, equality, immigration are a few examples of entities that civic engagement can shape within a state.

Civic Engagement in the Role of State Government

  • Community Collaboration includes democratic spaces where people of like interests can get together to discuss concern for particular issues and gives them a place and means to make the changes they see necessary. These spaces can be seen as a resource center, such as neighborhood associations, school boards, and similar settings where citizens can go to get information regarding their community (upcoming changes, proposed solutions to existing problems, etc.), as well creating a place where citizens feel their voices are heard and are given the opportunity to provide their personal input in governmental decisions regarding public interest.
  • Involvement in public council meeting sessions for discussions that can clarify necessities and changes that need to be made. Political participation is another key element that is practiced with regularity. The simple act of casting an informed vote can change many things within the community. At the local level, these votes can change many things that affect day-to-day life.
  • Online Engagement gives citizens the opportunity to be involved in their local government that they would not have otherwise, by allowing them to voice themselves from the comfort of their own home. Online Engagement involves things such as online voting and public discussion forums that give citizens the opportunity to voice their opinions on topics and offer solutions as well as find others with common interests and creating the possibility of forming advocacy groups pertaining to particular interests. The use of the internet has allowed for people to have access to information easily and has resulted in a better informed public as well as creating a new sense of community for citizens.[9]

Community Collaboration

  • Government reaches into the lives of every citizen every single day. On the local level, communities ideally work together toward common goals that are perceived to be helpful to its citizen’s overall well-being. The goals can be numerous and varied, as are the mechanics of achieving those goals. Working together in this way is called civic engagement. It can be argued that a fundamental step in creating a functioning society begins with the civic education of children within the community. According to Diann Cameron Kelly, “When our young children serve their communities through volunteerism, political participation or through vocal activism, they are more likely to emerge…voting and serving all aspects of society” (55).[7] Kelly argues that children should be taught how their community works and who chooses the rules we live by even before they enter school. Other voices maintain that civic education is a lifelong process, even for those who make decisions on behalf of the citizens they serve. When those who serve listen to the citizens, they become better informed of what is needed by the community and generally make better decisions. Miriam Porter states that elected officials should communicate with their citizens to have this better understanding, “Without this, turmoil, suspicion, and reduction of public trust ensues” (175).[8]
  • Volunteering personal time to community projects is an aspect of civic engagement that is widely believed to support the growth of a community as a whole. In nearly any given community there are services that governing bodies may not be able to fully fund and volunteers become necessary. Food pantries, community clean-up programs and the like can bolster efforts to create a strong community bond. It also helps to teach the volunteer where more work is needed in their city.

Volunteering in the Local Level

  • Achieving greater buy-in to decisions with fewer backlashes such as lawsuits, special elections, or a council recall.
  • Engendering trust between citizens and government, which improves public behavior at council meetings.
  • Attaining successful outcomes on toxic issues, which helps elected officials avoid choosing between equally unappealing solutions.
  • Developing better and more creative ideas and solutions.
  • Implementing ideas, programs, and policies faster and more easily.
  • Creating involved citizens instead of demanding customers.
  • Building community within a city.
  • Making your job easier and more satisfying.

Benefits of Civic Engagement in Local Government

“Be open to outcome, not attached to outcome.” –Angeles Arrien

Civic engagement is a community builder. When civic engagement is done properly, you begin to build the community and the participation within the local side of government. Civic engagement and community work is basically a side by side concurrence that together can each help to grow your community and help start off with a strong foundation for the role of government.

Civic Engagement in the Role of Local Government

At the global level, for instance, a diverse group of 37 online volunteers from across the globe engaged in 4 months of intense collaboration with the United Nations Department of Economic Affairs (UN DESA) to process 386 research surveys carried out across 193 UN Member States for the 2014 UN E-Government Survey. The diversity of nationalities and languages of the online volunteers[6]—more than 65 languages, 15 nationalities, of which half are from developing countries—mirrors perfectly the mission of the survey.

The State of the World’s Volunteerism Report 2015, the first global review of the power of volunteer voices to help improve the way people are governed, draws on evidence from countries as diverse as Brazil, Kenya, Lebanon and Bangladesh. The UN report shows how ordinary people are volunteering their time, energies and skills to improve the way they are governed and engaged at local, national and global levels. Better governance at every level is a pre-requisite for the success of the new set of targets for future international development, the Sustainable Development Goals, which are due to be agreed at the United Nations in September 2015.[5]

The Role of Volunteerism in Transforming Governance


This article was sourced from Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License; additional terms may apply. World Heritage Encyclopedia content is assembled from numerous content providers, Open Access Publishing, and in compliance with The Fair Access to Science and Technology Research Act (FASTR), Wikimedia Foundation, Inc., Public Library of Science, The Encyclopedia of Life, Open Book Publishers (OBP), PubMed, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Center for Biotechnology Information, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health (NIH), U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, and, which sources content from all federal, state, local, tribal, and territorial government publication portals (.gov, .mil, .edu). Funding for and content contributors is made possible from the U.S. Congress, E-Government Act of 2002.
Crowd sourced content that is contributed to World Heritage Encyclopedia is peer reviewed and edited by our editorial staff to ensure quality scholarly research articles.
By using this site, you agree to the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy. World Heritage Encyclopedia™ is a registered trademark of the World Public Library Association, a non-profit organization.

Copyright © World Library Foundation. All rights reserved. eBooks from Project Gutenberg are sponsored by the World Library Foundation,
a 501c(4) Member's Support Non-Profit Organization, and is NOT affiliated with any governmental agency or department.