Declining youth participation in conventional forms of politics has become a central theme for academics and policy makers and has often been viewed as marking a crisis in citizenship. Yet there is overwhelming evidence to show that young people are not apathetic. They have their own views and engage in “politics” (more broadly understood) in a wide variety of ways that have relevance to their everyday lives. The following article compares and contrasts the civic and political engagement of young people both within and among the United States, Britain, and Germany. The core arguments are that the forms of engagement practiced by young people are heavily structured in favor of highly educated and well-off citizens and that young people as a group have increasingly been marginalized from electoral politics. However, the different experiences across the three countries give scholars a clearer idea of how these problems might be overcome.
- young people, political participation