Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Disillusioned Youth: Young Citizens and Changing Electoral Turnout

23.09.2004


A recent paper in The Political Quarterly provides insights into the extent of declining electoral participation amongst young British voters and discusses the need to examine in further detail whether we are witnessing a profound generational shift in youth politics.

The relatively lower proportion of young citizens casting their votes at general elections has previously been attributed to differences in stages of the political life-cycle. However, unprecedented declines in turnout at the last two general elections raise the question: are today’s young citizens politically distinct from their older counterparts, and are their participatory characteristics likely to adhere to them as they age? Research by Edward Phelps indicates this might well be the case.

In this paper, Phelps presents the first stages of a longitudinal investigation into the participatory characteristics of ten age cohorts between 1964 and 2001. This research shows that decline in participation from young voters is due to a generational change, and contests the view that low turnout a result of political apathy and disinterest.



While British citizens as a whole have become significantly less inclined to vote since 1992, this has been most pronounced amongst the younger age groups. Turnout amongst those below 25 and those between 25 and 34, shows unprecedented decline. Contrary to expectations, those aged between 25 and 34 have been even more affected than those under 25 - turnout is falling in an age group where it might be expected to rise after the impact of ‘youth’ on the life-cycle.

Phelps argues that declining levels of participation may be due to the decreasing relevance of electoral activity to young people’s lives. The generational shift identified in this paper represents the disillusionment with a political process that is dated and unresponsive to the needs of modern citizens who are coming to conceptualise politics within a boarder framework of social and political issues, and who are unable to comprehend a system designed to solve the problems of a different era.

The emergence of new and enduring forms of political behaviour has serious ramifications for the future of representative politics in Britain. The evidence presented by Phelps strengthens the case for further research that seeks to examine whether, and in what ways, today’s young citizens are politically distinct from older generations.

Verity Warne | alfa
Further information:
http://www.blackwellpublishing.com

More articles from Social Sciences:

nachricht Amazingly flexible: Learning to read in your thirties profoundly transforms the brain
26.05.2017 | Max-Planck-Institut für Kognitions- und Neurowissenschaften

nachricht Fixating on faces
26.01.2017 | California Institute of Technology

All articles from Social Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Can we see monkeys from space? Emerging technologies to map biodiversity

An international team of scientists has proposed a new multi-disciplinary approach in which an array of new technologies will allow us to map biodiversity and the risks that wildlife is facing at the scale of whole landscapes. The findings are published in Nature Ecology and Evolution. This international research is led by the Kunming Institute of Zoology from China, University of East Anglia, University of Leicester and the Leibniz Institute for Zoo and Wildlife Research.

Using a combination of satellite and ground data, the team proposes that it is now possible to map biodiversity with an accuracy that has not been previously...

Im Focus: Climate satellite: Tracking methane with robust laser technology

Heatwaves in the Arctic, longer periods of vegetation in Europe, severe floods in West Africa – starting in 2021, scientists want to explore the emissions of the greenhouse gas methane with the German-French satellite MERLIN. This is made possible by a new robust laser system of the Fraunhofer Institute for Laser Technology ILT in Aachen, which achieves unprecedented measurement accuracy.

Methane is primarily the result of the decomposition of organic matter. The gas has a 25 times greater warming potential than carbon dioxide, but is not as...

Im Focus: How protons move through a fuel cell

Hydrogen is regarded as the energy source of the future: It is produced with solar power and can be used to generate heat and electricity in fuel cells. Empa researchers have now succeeded in decoding the movement of hydrogen ions in crystals – a key step towards more efficient energy conversion in the hydrogen industry of tomorrow.

As charge carriers, electrons and ions play the leading role in electrochemical energy storage devices and converters such as batteries and fuel cells. Proton...

Im Focus: A unique data centre for cosmological simulations

Scientists from the Excellence Cluster Universe at the Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität Munich have establised "Cosmowebportal", a unique data centre for cosmological simulations located at the Leibniz Supercomputing Centre (LRZ) of the Bavarian Academy of Sciences. The complete results of a series of large hydrodynamical cosmological simulations are available, with data volumes typically exceeding several hundred terabytes. Scientists worldwide can interactively explore these complex simulations via a web interface and directly access the results.

With current telescopes, scientists can observe our Universe’s galaxies and galaxy clusters and their distribution along an invisible cosmic web. From the...

Im Focus: Scientists develop molecular thermometer for contactless measurement using infrared light

Temperature measurements possible even on the smallest scale / Molecular ruby for use in material sciences, biology, and medicine

Chemists at Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz (JGU) in cooperation with researchers of the German Federal Institute for Materials Research and Testing (BAM)...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Plants are networkers

19.06.2017 | Event News

Digital Survival Training for Executives

13.06.2017 | Event News

Global Learning Council Summit 2017

13.06.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Study shines light on brain cells that coordinate movement

26.06.2017 | Life Sciences

Smooth propagation of spin waves using gold

26.06.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

Switchable DNA mini-machines store information

26.06.2017 | Information Technology

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>