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Altruism and Self-Interest in Democracies

Individual Participation in Government

Altruism and Self-Interest in Democracies by Richard Jankowski
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Individuals have little incentive to vote, acquire political information or contribute campaign funds, because their vote has very little chance of affecting the outcome of an election. Jankowski offers an explanation and evidence for political participation based on the assumption that most individuals are weakly altruistic. Other proposed explanations of political participation (civic duty and expressive behavior) are not supported by the evidence, or fail to explain the many different forms of political participation, such as the acquisition of political information. Evidence is presented that liberals and conservatives are equally altruistic. Therefore, an explanation of why liberals and conservatives differ in their support of various government programs to help the needy is presented. Jankowski's analysis examines both the electoral and post-electoral phases of representative democracy.

Palgrave Macmillan; July 2015
209 pages; ISBN 9781137391537
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Title: Altruism and Self-Interest in Democracies
Author: Richard Jankowski
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