Why education matters for democracy

AQMeN Research Briefing 11 - Why education matters for democracy - looks at the connection between an individual's education and their likelihood of participating in democracy. 

Key points: 

  • Education is the basis of democracy. People need skills and knowledge to be able to take part in civic life and to debate big political issues with each other. 
  • There are now doubts about this link because of a paradox. As higher education has expanded massively, democracy has seemed to be in crisis. Is the age-old connection between education and the quality of democracy being eroded?
  • Using a wide range of survey evidence from Britain, this briefing shows that these doubts are misplaced. Education really is important democratically. Higher education does make people more liberal, more politically optimistic and more inclined to participate in society. 
  • What matters is the kind of education which people study. Civic life benefits from citizens who have learned, through education, to think independently. 

Read the briefing in full here. 

Date: 
Wednesday, June 15, 2016
Authors: 
Lindsay Paterson
Publication Type: 
Research Briefing
Publisher: 
AQMeN

Research Strand: