How do schools affect inequalities in political participation
Compensation of social disadvantage or provision of differential access?
Both direct and indirect influences have been assumed to impact the transmission of political orientations within families. A lower socioeconomic status is related to lower intended political participation of adolescents. Within this context, schools play a crucial role in political socialisation, as citizenship education is assumed to either equalise or maintain these social disparities. We analyse a sub-dataset of the International Civic and Citizenship Education Study 2016 which includes 14-year-old students in four European countries: Belgium (Flanders), Denmark, Germany (North RhineWestphalia) and the Netherlands. Multi-level regression analyses reveal that formal citizenship education compensates the relationship between students’ socioeconomic status and intended electoral participation in Denmark, Germany (NRW) and the Netherlands, but not in Belgium (FL). Further, the composition of school classes is related to the perception of an open classroom climate in each of the four countries and to participation in civic activities at school in three countries.