Involving young people in democracy

Who don’t young people vote? Self-confessed ignorance, and dislike of the mainstream

Who don’t young people vote? Self-confessed ignorance, and dislike of the mainstream

Consistently low turnout rates among young people are often interpreted as apathy. But this is not the case, argues Iro Konstantinou. They acknowledge their ignorance of politics and are unhappy with the citizenship curriculum, wanting it widened to include practical democratic issues rather than just party politics. Many regard social media activism and individual actions as more […]

Book review | Participation and Non-Participation in Student Activism, by Alexander Hensby

Book review | Participation and Non-Participation in Student Activism, by Alexander Hensby

What motivates some students to translate their political interests and commitments into direct action, while others do not? In Participation and Non-Participation in Student Activism: Paths and Barriers to Mobilising Young People for Political Action, Alexander Hensby draws upon the 2010-11 UK student protests as a case study through which to examine the factors shaping political […]

Now they’re on a roll: how to get the missing millions onto the electoral register

Now they’re on a roll: how to get the missing millions onto the electoral register

Individual electoral registration has not been kind to students. Previously, they were automatically enrolled by their universities; now they are not, and many have fallen off the electoral roll as a result. But an amendment passed in the Lords last night would let them register at the same time as they enrolled at university. Toby […]

Losing Momentum? The power struggles that are hobbling the Corbyn movement

Losing Momentum? The power struggles that are hobbling the Corbyn movement

The Momentum movement faces two crucial problems, says Robin Pettitt. It explicitly allies itself with the Corbynite wing of the party. Yet it has also become a battleground for three groups: Bennites, a wave of new members, and the so-called ‘Trots’ or ‘entryists’. Meanwhile, the movement has been torn between a traditional branch-based structure and a […]

We need to make it easier for people to vote, not harder – and registering is still a big problem

We need to make it easier for people to vote, not harder – and registering is still a big problem

Despite the voter ID pilot next year, most people believe voter fraud isn’t a problem in the UK. But a significant minority want changes to the election system – notably more financial transparency and information about their candidates. And while relatively few want online voting, registering to vote, even though it can now be done online, […]

What to read in the age of Trump

What to read in the age of Trump

We need to think about democracy – now more than ever. As Donald Trump becomes the 45th President of the United States, Democratic Audit asked Brian Klaas, Russell Dalton, Cas Mudde and Meg Russell what texts they are turning to in order to understand and learn from the Trump phenomenon. This post is a work in progress […]

Breaking with the past: how voting reform could reinvigorate Australian politics

Breaking with the past: how voting reform could reinvigorate Australian politics

Spoiled ballot papers and the lowest turnout since voting became compulsory in 1925: young Australians are increasingly disillusioned with traditional politics, and with the two main parties in particular. Adele Lausberg says it is time to overhaul the way the House of Representatives is elected to give smaller parties more of a voice. Both the House […]

Votes at 16: do mock elections make a difference to adults’ attitudes?

Votes at 16: do mock elections make a difference to adults’ attitudes?

Mock elections help 16- and 17-year-olds understand how elections work. But do they make adults more likely to back lowering the voting age to 16? Erik Gahner Larsen, Klaus Levinsen and Ulrik Kjær looked at the 2009 local elections in Denmark, when a number of municipalities held mock elections alongside the real ones. They found that they […]

Evidence from Latin America: Governments increase human capital investment in response to social violence

Evidence from Latin America: Governments increase human capital investment in response to social violence

Mauricio Rivera and Bárbara Zárate-Tenorio argue that democratic governments have incentives to advance human capital since the youth population is overrepresented in acts of social violence. Drawing on data from eighteen Latin American countries, they show that governments increase spending on education in response to increasing levels of social violence. They also find that political […]

The under 30s in the UK: A generation used to not getting what they voted for

The under 30s in the UK: A generation used to not getting what they voted for

The EU Referendum underlined a clear disconnect between the ruling elites and the electorate, writes Benjamin Bowman. Disappointment with political choices is particularly marked among the younger generation, whose disaffection exemplifies a deeper depolitisation. Much can be learned from recent episodes such as the Iraq War and the increase in tuition fees if we are […]

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