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Research Team

CIVIC - The Center for Studies on Civic Engagement

About this team

About this team

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Erik Amnå

Research Subject

This research group focuses the citizens and their various modes of organising in politics and societal issue with special attention to how engagement and participation is developed over time. It has its foundations in theories on political participation, political socialisation, political communication and civil society.

The research profile grew out of the political scientific research about the local democracy development in the beginning of the 1980s as well as of the research on democracy and media. It was further developed within studies on civil society, not least through the EU FP7 grant on European civil societies in the beginning of the new millennium. It was also Its most powerful development hitherto started by the collaboration with researchers into pedagogic based on international studies on civic education as well as the longitudinal studies jointly that is carried out with developmental psychologists and scholars into media and communication 2009-2014.

The theme of CIVICS deals with the citizens' civic knowledge, attitudes and behavior such as involvement in social movements and various forms of political communication including the internet. Of interest is also how various citizen groups try to achieve political influence. Therefore we also study the processes of inclusion and exclusion as well as modes of extremism and political violence. Of utmost interest is to understand the civic development of youths in terms of knowledge, attitudes, communication, and others forms of engagement.

Examples of ongoing and newly finished empirical research are a seven year longitudinal political socialization study of youths 13 to 30 years old; comparisons of high school students civic knowledge, attitudes and participation in 27 countries, a comparison of older and newer civil society organizations and their political influence, and a comparative study of women's, immigrants and youths political participation in eight European countries.
To an increasing extent CIVICS performs an extensive presence in public by communicating its research among national and international actors into research, civil society, politics and society at large.

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