Dutch-Belgian Political Science Conference edition:7 location:Nijmegen (NL) date:29-30 May 2008
While countries all over the world introduce citizenship education in several forms to fight against the decline in voter turnout and the lack of political awareness among adolescents, it is primordial to investigate the possible divergence between all kinds of models assessing the effect of citizenship education efforts.
Looking into several quantitative inquiries into citizenship education and its effects, political interest is taken into account as a very important independent variable to control for. Assessing the causal relationship between citizenship education and knowledge and participation it is however possible that the ‘interest in politics’ variable serves more as an intermediate or dependent variable and that the correlation between citizenship education efforts and political knowledge and participation hence is spurious. This relationship between citizenship education and interest is investigated in this paper. In the theoretical part firstly an insight will be given into the definition of citizenship and citizenship education, secondly the place of political interest in citizenship education models will be discussed. In the quantitative part the place of political interest in citizenship education models will be investigated using partial correlation and multi level models.