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Is It Simply Gender? Content, Format, and Time in Political Knowledge Measures

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  27 March 2018

Monica Ferrin
Collegio Carlo Alberto
Marta Fraile
European University Institute & Consejo Superior de Investigaciones Cientificas (IPP)
Gema García-Albacete
Carlos III University of Madrid


Theories of democracy commonly assume that citizens must have a certain degree of information and factual knowledge to be able to understand the functioning of institutions, the performance of the incumbent government, and the actions of the main political actors. Political knowledge helps people to better assess their interest as individuals and as members of groups (Delli Carpini and Keeter 1996). Moreover, governments have more incentives to be responsive when they can be held accountable, but citizens are able to hold governments accountable for their actions only when they know what governments are actually doing.

Research Article
Copyright © The Women and Politics Research Section of the American Political Science Association 2018 

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We acknowledge the financial support of the Spanish Ministry of Science and Innovation (grant numbers CSO2012-32009 and CSO2016-75090-R] and of the Centro de Investigaciones Sociologicas (CIS).



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