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Apathy or Alienation?: Political passivity among youths across eight European Union Countries
Örebro University, School of Humanities, Education and Social Sciences. (CIVIC)ORCID iD: 0000-0002-8281-2138
Örebro University, School of Humanities, Education and Social Sciences. (CIVIC)ORCID iD: 0000-0001-8311-0982
London School of Economics and Political Science, London, UK.
Friedrich-Schiller-University, Jena, Germany.
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(English)In: European Journal of Developmental Psychology, ISSN 1740-5629, E-ISSN 1740-5610Article in journal (Refereed) Accepted
Abstract [en]

Political participation is one of the most studied aspects of the contemporary development of western democracies (Ekman & Amnå, 2012; van Deth, 2014).  A recent trend focuses the lack of political participation among younger generations (e.g., Henn, Weinstein & Forrest, 2005; Kimberlee, 2002).  At the same time, the last decades have also witnessed a growth in the share of young European Union (EU) citizens who express alienation, and distrust toward social and political institutions at the national as well as the European level (Dalton, 1998; Henn et al., 2005; Mierina, 2014).  By studying young people across different countries of the EU, the current study aims to examine if youths’ political passivity is better explained by political apathy or alienation.  Our analyses are based on a comparative survey data collected by the Catch-EyoU project comprising approximately 4,454 late adolescents assembled from eight member countries of the EU.  Results from logistic regressions predicting non-voting from apathy and alienation support the idea that political passivity is best understood as the result of political apathy.  Moreover, it seems that the underlying separator of apathetic and alienated youths is cognitive awareness of political life.  These results are discussed in relation to potentially built-in paradoxes of apathy present in efficient and well-functional welfare-state democracies.

Keyword [en]
political passivity, political apathy, political alienation, youths, European Union
National Category
Political Science
Research subject
Political Science
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:oru:diva-60647OAI: oai:DiVA.org:oru-60647DiVA: diva2:1139877
Projects
Constructing active citizenship with European youth: Policies, Practices, Challenges and Solutions (Catch-EyoU)
Funder
EU, Horizon 2020, N. 649538
Note

The research reported in this paper was funded by European Union, Horizon 2020 Programme, Constructing AcTiveCitizensHip with European Youth: Policies, Practices, Challenges and Solutions (www.catcheyou.eu) Grant Agreement No 649538.  The views and opinions expressed in this publication are the sole responsibility of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the European Commission.  The author(s) would like to thank Erik Amnå, Shakuntala Banaji, Elvira Cicognani, Veronika Kalmus, Petr Macek, Isabel Menezes, Frosso Motti-Stefanidi, and Peter Noack, for the data which were collected by their team to be used in this paper.

 

Data used in this study are publicly available from the Digital Scientific Archive (Det vetenskapliga arkivet, DiVa) – Örebro University (DOI…..).

Available from: 2017-09-09 Created: 2017-09-09 Last updated: 2017-09-11

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