Civic political culture

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A civic culture or civic political culture is a political culture characterized by "acceptance of the authority of the state" and "a belief in participation in civic duties". The term was first used in Gabriel Almond and Sidney Verba's book, The Civic Culture.[1] Civic political culture is a mixture of other political cultures namely parochial, subject and participant political cultures.[2] Almond and Verba characterised Britain as having a civic political culture.[3] In "Is Britain Still a Civic Culture?" Patrick Seyd and Paul Whiteley discuss the extent to which Britain can still be regarded as having a civic political culture.[4] The term civic culture is used to identify the political culture characteristics that explain the stability of a democratic society's political structure.[5]

Almond and Verba state that the following are characteristics of a civic culture:[6]

  • Orientation toward political system in both the political and governmental senses
  • Pride in aspects of one's nation
  • Expectation of fair treatment from government authorities
  • Ability to talk freely and frequently about politics
  • An emotional involvement in elections
  • Tolerance towards opposition parties
  • A Valuing of active participation in local government activities, parties, and in civic associations
  • Self-confidence in one's competence to participate in politics
  • Civic cooperation and trust
  • Membership in the political associations.

It is worth noting that the proper combination of the various types of political culture will provide a culture that has a positive implications for the growth of democracy.

Further reading

Pateman, C. (1980). The civic culture: A philosophic critique. In Almond, G. & Verba, S., editors. The civic culture revisited. (1989). Newbury Park, CA: Sage Publications.


  1. "civic culture: Definition from". Retrieved 2009-06-09.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  2. "Almond and Verba's Civic Culture". Retrieved 2009-06-09.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  3. Francis Michael Longstreth Thompson, The Cambridge Social History of Britain 1750-1950, p106
  4. "Is Britain Still a Civic Culture?". Retrieved 2009-06-09.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  5. Alexander, James,Political culture in post-communist Russia,p19