Civic culture

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Civic culture is a term coined by Gabriel A. Almond and Sidney Verba (1963) to describe the set of related political and social attitudes said to be crucial to the success of modern democracies.[1] Using what were at the time new survey research techniques, Almond and Verba studied attitudes in five countries: England, Germany, Italy, Mexico, and the United States of America. In the process, they shifted comparative political studies away from a nearly exclusive preoccupation with constitutional analysis to the study of comparative behavior.

The authors updated their earlier work in 1989. [2]

The original publication of this book had a great impact. As a result of Almond and Verba's work, the term "civic culture" has a narrower focus than the larger subject of culture in general. "Civic culture" relates to cultural attitudes. Other cultural objects, both material and symbolic, that might be associated with civic attitudes and behavior have received comparatively less emphasis by political scientists under the rubric of civic culture. Among these, for example, might be included such civic culture objects as patriotic parades and public gatherings, public proclamations and speeches by public officials, public statuary, and numerous other cultural objects.

There is a large published literature on civic culture key representatives of which are listed on the linked bibliography page (select the Bibliography link in the upper right).


  1. Almond, Gabriel A. and Sidney Verba. 1963. The civic culture; political attitudes and democracy in five nations. Princeton, N.J.,: Princeton University Press.
  2. Almond, Gabriel A. and Sidney Verba. 1989. The civic culture revisited. Newbury Park, Calif.: Sage Publications.