Being Less Active and Outnumbered? The Political Participation and Relative Pressure Potential of Young People in Europe
A YOUNG GENERATION UNDER PRESSURE? J. Tremmel, ed., New York: Springer, 2009
28 Pages Posted: 17 Jan 2008 Last revised: 27 Jul 2009
Date Written: November 14, 2007
Does demographic ageing matter for the political participation process in Europe? Evidence from the European Social Survey shows that the political participation process in Europe is currently skewed in favor of middle-aged people who dominate in their pressure potential measured through their participation levels and demographic size over other age groups. Older people, the fastest growing age group, come in second on almost all dimensions of participation. Young people, unlikely to increase in numbers in the near future, have the lowest pressure potential due to their low participation rates and their small demographic weight. Since age groups differ in their political preferences, young people may be less able to convey information about their different preferences to and to exert pressure on political elites than other age groups.
Keywords: demographic change, aging, ageing, young people, political participation, European Social Survey
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