Different Levels of Government, Different Levels of Political Competence?

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    In federal political systems such as the United States, there has long existed a view that citizens should be more politically competent at the local level than at the federal level of government. Recent studies have challenged this view. This article argues that these findings may reflect only one part of the broader picture. Through a review of two recent studies, I contend that research in this realm must consider more than only the level of government. Odd as this sounds, assumptions about varying levels of political competence at different levels of government have always been premised on the notion that local-level politics is smaller and less complex than federal-level politics. However, when local politics takes place today against the backdrop of small villages and towns as well as in large cities, these are assumptions that must be reevaluated.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)256-260
    JournalPS: Political Science & Politics
    Issue number2
    Publication statusPublished - 2019

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