23 SES 08 D, Eastern Europe
Parallel Paper Session
European countries were divided by the Iron Curtain for decades. During the communist era, the countries in the former East Bloc shared very similar values and ideology and followed a similar course of political and socioeconomic development. However, the fall of communism brought many changes in the “brother nations”, each one of them taking a different path of development after adopting democratic changes in their societies. Previous research on civic participation has already found different patterns across European countries. Also, civic competence in various aspects is different in Northern European countries and South and East European ones (Hoskins, 2009).
This paper has two main objectives. The first is to explore the expected levels of future civic participation among the youth with respect to their citizenship (former communistic vs. other countries in Europe). The second objective is to identify the strength of association of different variables with anticipated future civic participation among youth in Europe accounting for the age of countries’ democracies. The study uses data from the International Civic and Citizenship Study (ICCS) 2009 conducted by the International Association for the Evaluation of Educational Achievement (IEA).
The research questions of this paper are:
1. What are the differences in the expected future participation activities in the former East Bloc countries compared to the rest of Europe?
2. How and to what extent the expected future civic participation of students is related to their attitudes, behaviors, background characteristics and the resources in the local communities where they live?
This study adopts a working definition similar to the behavioral approach as defined by Starosta (2010) which focuses on the manifestations of civic behaviors: Civic participation refers to activities in the local community, politics or general society within the local country context and includes formal and informal group or organization membership, individual actions, voluntary activities, political activities aimed to bring improvement to the local, societal or country-wide settings.
During the communistic era there was an attempt to decrease the divergence in political, social, demographic and economic development and social classes across Eastern European countries. Civic participation was no exception (Coffé & van der Lippe, 2009). After the down of communism East European countries took course towards democratic changes and market-oriented economy that brought the need of new citizenry and required new kind of knowledge and skills (Bankov, Mikova, & Smith, 2006).
However, using the IEA CivED study data Torney-Purta (2002a) found that countries from former East Bloc and Portugal have trust in government-related institutions below the international average and, in regard to it, different patterns between the countries were found.
Bankov, K., Mikova, D., & Smith, M. T. (2006). Assessing Between-School Variation in Educational Resources and Mathematics and Science Achievement in Bulgaria. Prospects, XXXVI(4), 447-473. Coffé, H., & van der Lippe, T. (2009). Citizenship Norms in Eastern Europe. Social Indicators Research, 96(3), 479-496. Hoskins, B. (2009). Monitoring Active Citizenship in the European Union: The Process, the Results and initial Explanations. CAMDO, 1, 1-16. doi:10.3280/CAD2009-001008. Howard, M. M. (2002). The Weakness of Postcommunist Civil Society. Journal of Democracy, 13(1), 157-169. Starosta, P. (2010). Civic Participation in Rural Europe. Przeglad socjologiczny, 59(2), 77-108. Torney-Purta, J. (2002a). The School’s Role in Developing Civic Engagement: A Study of Adolescents in Twenty-Eight Countries. Applied Developmental Science, 6(4), 203-212. Torney-Purta, J. (2002b). Patterns in the Civic Knowledge, Engagement, and Attitudes of European Adolescents: The IEA Civic Education Study. European Journal of Education, 37(2), 129-141.
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