Civic Talk: Peers, Politics, and the Future of Democracy
by Casey A. Klofstad
Temple University Press, December 2010
Political junkies are bound to agree that there can never be too much talk about politics. In Civic Talk: Peers, Politics, and the Future of Democracy, Casey Klofstad, an assistant professor of political science at the University of Miami, shows that talking about politics with our friends and peers has real behavioral implications. It encourages greater participation that takes forms ranging from voting to volunteering in civic organizations. Using an innovative approach that integrates survey information and focus groups with an experimental design, Klofstad reveals that social context plays a central role in maintaining the strength of democracy. His findings also imply that efforts designed to stimulate political discourse—even if it is just casual chatting about politics—can enhance civic engagement and participation. For readers interested in thoughtful social science research with real-world implications, this book is a great choice.
Mark Ruggiero is a freelance writer who resides in New York.