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date: 13 June 2021

Abstract and Keywords

This chapter links long-standing normative, conceptual, and empirical issues regarding the theory and practice of citizen engagement to recent research developments. It first unpacks the definition of “democratic engagement” and its presumed requisites and attributes. Next the chapter explores the role of communication in the formation of these requisites and attributes, as well as their expression. It then turns to the question “What do we know?,” arguing that for a variety of reasons, the answer is a complicated and ultimately a disappointing one. Finally, the chapter discusses how developments in information and communication technologies are changing both the process of political engagement and the ways we study it, as exemplified by the chapters in this section.

Keywords: politics, communication, democratic engagement, citizenship, public space

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