War and Political Participation the Impact of the Vietnam Conflict and Gulf War in America
ARIZONA STATE UNIV TEMPE
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The question of citizen participation in American politics continues to inspire social scientists seeking to understand the impact of citizen neglect on democratic legitimacy. By exploring the impact of the Vietnam Conflict and the Gulf War on political participation in the United States, this research provides evidence that American citizens participate at higher rates during times of military conflict than during times of peace. The theoretical frameworks of rational choice and political sophistication help explain how wartime phenomena, such as an increase in free information, greater salience of governmental affairs and focus on the president, motivate citizens to participate. American National Election Studies data aggregated from 1956-1992 for presidential election years provides empirical support that participation measures, such as voting, attempting to influence others to vote, attending political meetings and working for a political party or candidate, increase significantly during times of military conflict, defined as the Vietnam Conflict and Gulf War.
- Government and Political Science