Formal education is crucial for creating enlightened and active citizens. However, despite an increase in education attainment since the 1970s, political engagement has t risen at a commensurate level. This text explores how and why education affects citizenship in these ways. The authors seek to provide answers by uncovering the causal relationship between education and democratic citizenship. They argue that citizenship encompasses both political engagement in pursuit of interests and commitment to democratic values that temper what citizens can do to win in politics. Education affects the two dimensions in distinct ways. Especially significant is the influence of education on political engagement through occupational prominence and position in social networks. Formal education orders the distribution of social position and connections, and creates an uneven political playing field.
Winner of American Political Science Association: Woodrow Wilson Foundation Award 1997.