This study focuses on the role of individuals" social networks and motivations in predicting their intention to participate socially. In an online survey, university students (N = 263) estimated the likelihood of their future participation in several types of civic and political activity and evaluated their possible motivations. Participants also indicated approximately how many of their social contacts were already involved in each type of participation, with this measure being used to calculate their degree centrality in social networks. Multiple linear regression analyses revealed that motivations and social contacts were significant predictors of intention to engage in most forms of civic and political activity studied. Social contacts were more decisive in predicting political than civic participation. We also found that personal motivations mediated the relationship between social contacts and intention to participate in all cases except joining a political party. We discuss the results in light of their theoretical and practical implications.
civic participation; political participation; motivations; social networks