Whereas some previous studies have showed that neighborhoods affect civic participation and others showed that civic participation is declining, the relation between the two findings has not been studied yet. This is surprising since amongst others Putnam argued that declining participation could be due to the decreased influence of social contexts such as the neighborhood. Therefore, in this study multi-level modeling is used to test whether neighborhood effects are present participation is declining, and whether the two are related. To this end longitudinal data from the survey ‘Nieuw Utrechts Peil’ between 1996 and 2006 are used (N=33,861). Our results show that little of the variance in participatory behavior can be ascribed to neighborhood characteristics and that only few neighborhood characteristics affect participatory behavior. Furthermore, an increase of participation has been found. While participation is increasing, the influence of neighborhood characteristics has remained stable or declined
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