Voters and Candidates of the Future
Hooghe, M. & Dassonneville, R. (2013). Voters and Candidates of the Future. The Intention for Electoral Participation among Adolescents in 22 European Countries. Young: the Nordic Journal of Youth Research, 21(1), 1-28.
Within the literature there is a growing concern about lower voter turnout rates among young-age cohorts. In this article we investigate the reported willingness to vote among 72,466 14-year-old adolescents from 22 European countries, who took part in the International Civic and Citizenship Education Study (ICCS) 2009. Results indicate that the willingness to vote remains quite elevated among this age group, but with a clear gender division. While girls are more likely to state that they will vote, boys are more likely to see themselves as future election candidates. An open classroom climate at school contributes to the willingness to vote in future elections. The elements that are known to have an effect on the turnout level of adults, however, do not have a significant impact on the intention to vote among adolescents. This would suggest that the observed lower turnout rate among younger people cannot just be attributed to an alleged lack of political motivation among adolescents, and that therefore other elements will have to be taken into account if we want to explain this downward trend.
electoral participation, voting, adolescents, comparative research, Europe, ICCS 2009
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