Diversity and voice: The political participation of young people in the European Union

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

219 Downloads (Pure)


There is widespread concern about declining public involvement in established democracies. Europeans are turning away from mainstream electoral politics towards new forms of political engagement. This is particularly the case for younger citizens. If young people are ‘reinventing political activism’ (Pippa Norris), in which forms of participation and in which countries is it most true? Drawing on data from the European Social Survey, the following article compares and contrasts young people’s politics in the fifteen old member states of the European Union. Youth engagement generally reflects a country’s civic-political culture. But there are significant differences in levels of youth participation, in ratios of youth participation (compared to the adult population as a whole), and in the relative popularity of different forms of political action. The United Kingdom stands out, however, with a disturbingly large gap between the political engagement of young people and older adults.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)521-537
Number of pages17
JournalBritish Journal of Politics and International Relations
Issue number3
Early online date25 May 2016
Publication statusPublished - 1 Aug 2016


  • young people pollitical participation

Cite this