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Education and civic and social engagement

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OECD countries have become increasingly interested in their citizens' civic and social engagement, not only because of its intrinsic value but also because of the potential benefits they bring to the society. Can education play a role in raising civic and social engagement? On the one hand, the available causal evidence suggests that secondary schools in the United States play a role in fostering political engagement, although in Europe the jury is still out. On the other hand, the evidence sheds little light on the potentially important role of higher education in promoting civic engagement, interpersonal trust and tolerance. The lack of robust causal evidence on the net effects of education may suggest that certain features of education matter more than others.

Document Type: Review Article

Publication date: September 1, 2010

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