Citizenship in Hard Times: How Ordinary People Respond to Democratic Threat



What do citizens do in response to threats to democracy? This book examines the mass politics of civic obligation in the US, UK, and Germany. Exploring threats like foreign interference in elections and polarization, Sara Wallace Goodman shows that citizens respond to threats to democracy as partisans, interpreting civic obligation through a partisan lens that is shaped by their country's political institutions. This divided, partisan citizenship makes democratic problems worse by eroding the national unity required for democratic stability. Employing novel survey experiments in a cross-national research design, Citizenship in Hard Times presents the first comprehensive and comparative analysis of citizenship norms in the face of democratic threat. In showing partisan citizens are not a reliable bulwark against democratic backsliding, Goodman identifies a key vulnerability in the mass politics of democratic order. In times of democratic crisis, defenders of democracy must work to fortify the shared foundations of democratic citizenship.

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Cambridge University Press
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