In recent years, political knowledge has been the cornerstone of the global political behavior and public opinion. Scholars have concentrated on defining political knowledge relating it to the mechanisms of political communication that significantly impact the global voter turnout and a choice. It should be noted that voter tolerance is often in question as an influence witnessed as a result of political knowledge. According to Memoli, political knowledge refers to the process of storing various political facts in long-term memory (p. 79), and these can be in the form of civic knowledge, issue knowledge, and structural relationships.
Scholars argue that civic knowledge, as a type or form of political knowledge, revolves around educating the public. Studies undertaken identify that individual-level factors bring a significant impact on the political knowledge. Besides, various analyses depict that civic education has a stronger relationship and brings an influence in crucial issues of political knowledge. Civic knowledge enables citizens to comprehend their political needs and interests as individuals or a group. This embraces the better understanding of the influence of public policies on their needs and interests. Also, consistency in public opinions and views significantly increases over time. This is depicted by the high voter turnout or display that is identified in political rallies (Galston 219). Public trust is often established or built from civic knowledge. The more the public is educated on the political affairs, the more the trust they have for the leaders. Therefore, they tend to judge their public officials in line with the public views and opinions. Civic knowledge alters the views of the citizens on certain public issues. For example, the more the public is educated on certain civic issues, the better they comprehend the impact of the policies in their country. Also, civic knowledge greatly promotes and supports democratic values. For example, the more knowledge the public has on the political affairs enables them to be aggressive and support democratic principles. The significant impact is often depicted in the voting process, which is highly dependent on the political knowledge (Galston 221).
Issue knowledge is linked to the mass media coverage. In the past years, the media has played a crucial role in defining and shaping the public, the public officials, and the interactions experienced. This is as a result of the availability of political information that has significantly increased the levels of knowledge of the public. For several years now, media has evolved to channel citizens’ participation in the democratic affairs, in the process empowering them. For example, there have been debates that to effectively or successfully dominate in politics, information and communication technologies have to be embraced (Said 12). However, political influence on the media has been a significant challenge on the media to encourage public participation. Various scholars have argued that political influence on the media is used to interfere with, distract, and gag media stations. Such practices are common around the world both in the developing and developed countries. This counters the democratic theory and does not depict democratic principles.
Moreover, structural relationships are evident in political knowledge with these relationships being directly linked to gender. In the past years, the size of gender gap has increasingly varied as women are viewed or considered to be of less political knowledge than men. Gender gap is identified as the variation in the needs and interests of the public. In the traditional democracies, men dominated the political field for a long period. This traditional gap eroded once westernization was experienced across the globe. Research studies showed that women were more politically conservative and of good memory than men in various ideas. In the recent years, women have actively engaged in the political participation and voter turnout. However, the gender gap is still experienced as the population of women in the global politics are less. This is well established across both the developed and developing countries. Political knowledge being embraced by interests and needs, men have been identified to be more interested in politics than women. For example, in 1997, analyses show that in the U.S., three-quarters of the population that participated in the political activities were men (Paxton 269). Moreover, in the U.S., the gender gap in political knowledge also tends to vary by race and ethnicity. For example, in 1960, studies show that men cast votes more than ladies for the Democratic Party.
In conclusion, it can be argued that in the recent decades, the health of democracy has significantly improved thanks to people having political knowledge. There are various forms or types of political knowledge such as civic knowledge, issue knowledge, and structural relationships. People have been educated effectively on the importance of participation in political activities to the society. This has been recently seen as women join politics for the best of their countries’ future. However, the global community needs to debate on the media coverage and come up with policies that safeguard their work or activities.
Galston, William A. “Political knowledge, political engagement, and civic education.” Annual review of political science 4.1 (2001): 217-234., http://www-personal.umich.edu/~prestos/Downloads/DC/9-23_Galston2001.pdf
Memoli, Vincenzo. “How does political knowledge shape support for democracy? Some research based on the Italian case.” Bulletin of Italian Politics 3.1 (2011): 79-102., https://www.gla.ac.uk/media/media_210769_en.pdf
Paxton, Pamela, Sheri Kunovich, and Melanie M. Hughes. “Gender in politics.” Annu. Rev. Social. 33 (2007): 263-284., http://www.pitt.edu/~hughesm/Paxton%20Kunovich%20and%20Hughes%202007.pdf
Said, Nihal H. Media Consumption Habits and the Political Knowledge Gap in Cairo, Egypt. Diss. Ohio University, 2015., https://etd.ohiolink.edu/!etd.send_file?accession=ohiou1429875116&disposition