Strengthening Effective Government–Citizen Connections through Greater Civic Engagement
Publication Year: 2002
Journal: Public Administration Review
Citizens are more trusting of government since the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, but their civic behaviors are little changed. One reason is that they mostly have been asked for monetary gifts to fund disaster relief and to serve others through existing nonprofit organizations. Available theoretical and empirical analyses suggest the three factors of motivation, skills, and network connections contribute to increased civic engagement, which is defined by behaviors such as seeking to persuade others to join in mobilizing commitment and resources to address a collective problem. Responses to 9/11 have not addressed these three factors. Increased civic engagement strengthens democracy and can contribute to the development of public judgment, which is critical to sustaining support of efforts to thwart terrorism. Success in any effort to increase civic engagement requires different strategies and actions by public officials.