English title: More Participation, Happier Society? A Comparative Study of Civil Society and the Quality of Life

Author(s): Claire Wallace - F. Pichler -

Language: English

Type: Journal article

Year: 2009


A ‘good society’ has recently been portrayed as one in which citizens engage in voluntary associations to foster democratic processes. Arguably, such a good society is considered as one where people are content with their own lives as well as public life. We consider whether participation in civil society leads to more satisfied individuals on the one hand and a better evaluation of society at a country level on the other. With data from the first round of the European Social Survey, we illustrate that participation in voluntary associations not only depends on individual characteristics, but that there is a clear country-level effect on civil society. This can be explained with measures of quality of society after socio-demographic determinants have been controlled for. Nonetheless, it remains difficult to say what comes first: a ‘good society’ or a thriving civil society.

Volume: 93

Issue: 2

From page no: 255

To page no: 274

Refereed: Yes

DOI: 10.1007/S11205-008-9305-9

Journal: Social Indicators Research

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