Young People's Attitudes towards Democracy and Political Participation: Evidence from a Cross-European Study

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2023-06-26
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Cambridge
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Abstract
Some scholars warn about democratic disaffection of young people potentially leading to processes of ‘democratic deconsolidation’. Conversely, others interpret young people’s preference for non-conventional forms of participation as a manifestation of democratic renewal. We surveyed respondents from nine European countries and analysed differences in attitudes of opposition to democracy across age groups and how these preferences shape political mobilization. Our findings show that the youngest adult group is no less supportive of liberal democracy than older age groups. Second, although attitudes of opposition towards democracy decrease political mobilization, this association is independent of age. Thus, young people’s critical views of democracy rarely translate into apathy for democracy. Finally, our results provide insights into intra-generational democratic attitude differences by showing how young people’s individual attributes are likely to crystallize into different value configurations and patterns of democratic engagement over time but within specific contexts.
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Young people, Democratic attitudes, Political mobilization, European politics, Protest, Turnout, Intra-generational analysis
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Fernández Guzmán Grassi E, Portos M, Felicetti A (2024). Young People’s Attitudes towards Democracy and Political Participation: Evidence from a Cross-European Study. Government and Opposition: An International Journal of Comparative Politics 59, pp. 582–604.