Are politically engaged citizens more democratic? A glimpse from Brazil

Mont'Alverne, Camila and Moraes, Diego and Kemer, Thaíse (2023) Are politically engaged citizens more democratic? A glimpse from Brazil. International Political Science Review, 44 (3). pp. 354-369. ISSN 1460-373X (

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A significant part of the Western literature on democracy assumes that political participation leads to citizens being more committed to democratic values. However, we do not know to what extent this is true in young democracies with an authoritarian tradition. Hence, this article aims to examine whether politically engaged Brazilians are more democratic. To do so, we analyzed whether there is any association between political participation, support for democracy, and democracy relativization through multivariate regression models. Our database comprises a representative sample of 2417 interviews with the electorate of São Paulo in 2019. The results show a statistically significant association between unconventional political participation and support for democracy. General political participation is associated with non-relativization of democracy only, showing a limited relationship between support for democracy and participation. Other variables, such as political interest, political knowledge, and interpersonal trust, are also associated with higher support for democracy.