Does civic education for young people increase political participation? A systematic review

Nathan Manning*, Kathy Edwards

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This paper uses established systematic and transparent methods to review the evidence for the effect of civic education on young people's normative political participation. Extensive electronic searches were undertaken of social science and education databases. The searches yielded 6890 titles; both authors independently screened titles and abstracts to apply predefined inclusion criteria. Nine studies were included in the review. Given the heterogeneity of these studies, statistical pooling was not possible and a narrative analysis has been performed. The results indicate little evidence for civic education having a discernible or direct effect on voting or voter registration/enrolment. Some support was found for civic education increasing activities of political expression (e.g. signing a petition). The implications for policy and future research are discussed.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)22-45
Number of pages24
JournalEducational Review
Issue number1
Early online date11 Mar 2013
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2014


  • Civic education
  • Young people
  • Political Participation
  • Voting
  • Citizenship
  • Systemic review

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