English title: Making volunteering work: The power of voluntary organizations to enhance civic skills. Some evidences from the European Social Survey

Author(s): Rafael Vázquez-García -

Language: English

Type: Journal article

Year: 2009

Abstract

The evolution of European Union (EU) toward a real political integration cannot omit the importance of building a European civic culture. Generating civic virtues is directly linked to the establishment of associative networks. In this sense, voluntary organizations, as “schools of democracy,” work as one of the main channels and mechanisms, from liberal tradition as well as republican one, to improve the quality of democracies. Some works have already argued that involvement in voluntary organizations presents positive effects on several elements that shape political culture in a country, by increasing political interest in public affairs, growing individual political efficacy, encouraging people to put in practice a broader socio-political activism, etc. Only by this way, it is possible to create a genuine “European public sphere,” where public debate and independent judgements can exist beyond EU institutions. From that theoretic framework, this document expounds the connections between socio-political participation in voluntary organizations and some elements of political culture linked to civic skills. The first wave of the European Social Survey (2002–2003) will be used as the main data source for a comparative analysis among more than twenty European countries.

Volume: 26

Issue: 0

From page no: 197

To page no: 226

Refereed: Yes

DOI: 10.1108/S0195-6310(2009)0000026012

Journal: Comparative Social Research