The 2019 American Political Science Association’s Annual Meeting & Exhibition was held from August 29 to September 1 in Washington, D.C. on the theme “Populism and Privilege.”
Semra Sevi, a member of the Research Chair in Electoral Studies and the Canada Research Chair in Electoral Democracy, presented a paper entitled “The Impact of Role Models on Youth Socialization in Politics.” A summary of this paper can be found below:
Researchers argue that youth are responsible for the turnout decline across advanced democracies. It is said that youth today lack interest and political knowledge to participate in elections. The literature on role model effects suggests that women and ethnic minorities engage with politics more when they are represented descriptively. As such, it is reasonable to expect that the presence of descriptive role models can fuel youth engagement in politics as well. Yet, no study has examined the impact of age representation of parliamentarians on young people. In this paper, I will ascertain whether having more young elected politicians increases turnout, the level of interest and political knowledge among youth. I will use a unique dataset of Canadian Federal Elections that I constructed which consists of 42 federal elections dating from 1867-2015 and includes the age of every elected politician. I will match this with public opinion surveys in the Canadian Election Study (1965-2015) to examine the overtime comparative link between youth public opinion on turnout, interest and political knowledge and the age of elected politicians. Using the Every Politician dataset, I will conduct a similar analysis across 53 countries combining individual level data about the age of every politician in these countries and Modules 1-4 in the Comparative Study of Electoral Systems which covers the same countries. The hypothesis to be tested is that the greater the share of young parliamentarians in a given election the weaker the age gap in knowledge and turnout.
Ruth Dassonneville chaired a roundtable in which researchers presented their work on citizen forecasting and citizen expectations (Wisdom or Folly of Crowds? Opportunities & Limitations of Citizen Forecasting). Ruth Dassonneville was also awarded, with Ian McAllister, the 2019 GESIS Klingemann Prize for the Best CSES Scholarship for the AJPS article “Gender, Political Knowledge, and Descriptive Representation: The Impact of Long-Term Socialization.”
(For more information of the 2019 Annual Meeting & Exhibition of the APSA, click here.)
This content has been updated on 8 September 2019 at 23 h 11 min.