Within contemporary developmental science, models derived from relational developmental systems metatheory emphasize that the basic process involved in the ontogeny of civic engagement involves mutually-influential and beneficial relations between the developing individual and his or her complex and changing social, cultural, and physical contexts (represented as individual ← → context relations). The authors suggest that research on the development of civic engagement should be theoretically predicated, use change-sensitive, longitudinal methods, and be comparative across time and place. Using these facets of scholarship as a lens, we discuss the contributions to this special issue. We conclude that the present set of studies provides a useful basis for future research and applications aimed at understanding and promoting individuals’ civic contributions, and their support of social organizations promoting individual thriving and freedom, liberty, and social justice.
Available at: http://works.bepress.com/rachel-hershberg/19/