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Quintelier, E., Solle, D., Harell, A. (2011). Politics in Peer Groups: Exploring the Causal Relationship between Network Diversity and Political Participation. Political Research Quarterly July 19, 2011.

Social capital researchers have suggested that bridging ties are important for political participation. However, thus far the literature lacks testing on the direction of this relationship: do diverse ties stimulate political participation or does political participation stimulate political diversity among friends and acquaintances? This article examines how ethnocultural and political diversity within social networks influence political participation among a unique panel of 4,235 young people in Belgium. The results reveal a reciprocal cross-lagged effect. In particular, having politically diverse social networks increases political participation, which in turn promotes meeting politically diverse others.

Authors

Quintelier, Ellen

Ellen Quintelier is a postdoctoral researcher of the Research Foundation – Flanders (FWO 2010), and an Invited Scholar at the University of Mannheim (Germany, 2011). Her research interest lies in political behavior, political sociology and comparative politics. More specifically, she focuses...

Stolle, Dietlind

Dietlind Stolle is Associate Professor in Political Science at McGill University, Montréal, Canada. She conducts research and has published on voluntary associations, trust, institutional foundations of social capital, ethnic-racial diversity and its consequences on social cohesion, and...

Harell, Allison

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