We have been looking closely at the values and practices which make up civil society and have seen that voluntary activity, institutions, such as political parties and norms, which support civic engagement and obedience to the law are all important ingredients in civic culture. But does a healthy civil society make for effective government? This is a crucial question, first raised in empirical research by Almond and Verba in their landmark study in the 1960s (Almond and Verba, 1963). They argued that a civic culture was crucial to understanding and explaining effective government.
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