Some Remarks on the Genetic Explanations of Political Participation

- Wróbel, Sylwester - подписаться на статьи автора
- Wajzer, M. - подписаться на статьи автора
- Cukier-Syguła, Monika - подписаться на статьи автора
Журнал: Social Evolution & History. Volume 19, Number 2 / September 2020 - подписаться на статьи журнала


Political participation is a key political phenomenon. Each year, we see the publication of many analyses describing and explaining the behaviours through which citizens nowadays seek to influence politics. Typically, researchers focus on the environmental conditions for the behaviours in question, ignoring the effects of genetic factors. The resulting knowledge gap is filled by genopolitical research. This line of research is highly controversial and deals primarily with candidate gene studies. The aim of this article is to present key theoretical and methodological issues concerning genetic explanations of political participation. The paper analyses selected studies suggesting a genetic base for political behaviours, identifies methodological difficulties faced by researchers bringing together knowledge from the fields of molecular genetics, behavioural genetics and political science, and discusses non-scientific arguments against genetic explanations of political participation. Despite numerous doubts, of both scientific and non-scientific nature, expanding our knowledge base regarding political behaviours requires research combining different theoretical and methodological perspectives. For effective interdisciplinary cooperation to become a reality, it is necessary to aim at bridging the traditional divisions and animosities between representatives of different scientific disciplines and to develop institutional mechanisms for the more effective formation of interdisciplinary research teams.

Keywords: political participation, genetic explanations, genopolitics, genes, social sciences. 

Sylwester Wróbel, Institute of Political Science, University of Silesia in Katowice more

Mateusz Wajzer, Institute of Political Science, University of Silesia in Katowice more

Monika Cukier-Syguła, Institute of Political Science, University of Silesia in Katowice more