Civic Duty and Turnout in Japan and South Korea

Achen, Christopher H. and Aram Hur
Korean Election Studies 1(2): 45-68.

Democratic governments rely on participation by all citizens for balanced and equitable election outcomes. What maintains voter turnout, this central aspect of democratic health? Civic duty is a powerful force in getting citizens to the polls, and yet it has often been misunderstood or neglected in empirical studies. By contrast, political theory has developed a rich literature on the obligations of democratic citizens. We show that a new statistical model based on political theorists’ analysis ofduty substantially improves the understanding of turnout in Japan and South Korea.

Wagner Faculty