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date: 21 February 2020

Abstract and Keywords

This article reviews the role of politically expert citizens as primary movers within a democratic political process characterized by patterns of interdependence among citizens. It also argues that the problem is mitigated through the patterns of interdependence realized in the form of complex networks of political communication. The difference between knowledge and expertise is also considered. One of the enduring innovations of the political economy literature on citizenship is to take information costs seriously in the analysis of political communication and expertise. The various aggregate and dynamic implications of heterogeneous networks for democratic politics and political communication are quite profound. Civic capacity in the aggregate benefits from the diffusion of expert opinion within and throughout networks of political communication. Political communication is not an antiseptic exercise in civic education.

Keywords: political communication, civic capacity, expertise, interdependence, knowledge, political economy, citizenship, aggregate, democratic politics

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