Service Cynicism: How Civic Disengagement Develops.

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    • Abstract:
      How does civic disengagement develop? This article examines the theory that the dissatisfaction and disengagement citizens develop toward one government agency can extend to an alternative agency. Leveraging police precinct-level data on 311 calls and criminal complaints from 2004 to 2012 in New York City, it investigates whether government responsiveness to municipal issues predicts citizens’ willingness to submit criminal complaints to the police. The study finds that predictors of disengagement with law enforcement extend beyond negative interactions with law enforcement alone. Rather, the time it takes local government officials to fix a 311 request for services, such as filling potholes and abating noise, shapes the likelihood that residents will file misdemeanor criminal complaints. Thus policymakers must account for the policy environment beyond their agency’s domain to alleviate citizens’ dissatisfaction and disengagement with government overall. [ABSTRACT FROM AUTHOR]
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