When Duty Calls, Do Citizens Answer?
Article first published online: 29 JAN 2007
Journal of Politics
Volume 69, Issue 1, pages 17–29, February 2007
How to Cite
Kam, C. D. (2007), When Duty Calls, Do Citizens Answer?. Journal of Politics, 69: 17–29. doi: 10.1111/j.1468-2508.2007.00491.x
- Issue published online: 29 JAN 2007
- Article first published online: 29 JAN 2007
- Manuscript submitted 11 February 2005Manuscript accepted for publication 2 February 2006
This article proposes that campaigns can serve a social function by drawing citizens into thinking about politics. Through an analysis of experimental data, the article reports that when subtle reminders of citizen duty appear in campaign discourse, citizens respond. Individuals who are reminded of citizen duty are more likely to learn where the candidates stand on issues, to think more about the candidates, and to search for information in an open-minded way. The results suggest that how citizens think about politics is flexible, rather than fixed, and can be shaped in consequential ways by the nature of elite appeals during election campaigns.