Young people and political (dis)engagement
In recent years, policy makers have become increasingly concerned that young citizens are turning their backs on the formal political process in different countries. This unease has centred primarily on young people’s voting records which are in decline. For instance, only 44% of 18-24 year olds voted at the 2010 UK General Election, significantly below the national election turnout average of 65%. This pattern of youth voter disengagement is common across many advanced democracies, and increasingly across many emergent democracies. But it is not just in terms of election turnout that young people are differentiated from their older contemporaries, as evidence suggests that this generation is particularly dissatisfied with the formal political process.
At the same time, studies indicate that young people are more likely to engage in ‘cause-oriented’styles of politics than they are in ‘formal’ politics - participation that uses less institutionalised methods such as demonstrations, boycotts, and direct action. This shift in the way young people are engaging in political activity is increasingly facilitated by access to new media and technologies.
In combination, these developments seem to suggest that mainstream politics has lost its relevance to the individual, begging the question, what are young people replacing mainstream politics with in formulating their identities? With this in mind, this project has two primary aims:
1.to explore this generation’s practice of politics, including reasons for their apparent reluctance to play an active role in ‘formal’ mainstream political life, and their preference for engagement with alternative forms of political participation;
2.to identify differing patterns of participatory engagement between distinct groups of young people, and to consider the implications of this participatory disparity.
The nature of the research is such that either quantitative or qualitative methods, or a combination of approaches, will be possible. It is expected that the applicant will develop a research design that iswell-matched to the project aims.
The project is not restricted to an examination of UK politics, as studies to be conducted of young people and political (dis)engagement in other countries will be equally welcome.
Successful applicants will only be awarded one award. If a student has not submitted their thesis by the end of year three, he / she is required to enrol for a fourth year and pay the Writing Up Fee to enable him/her to complete and submit the thesis. The Writing Up Fee is currently £570 for 2014/15 (this is revised annually). No Bench fee is payable in Year Four.
*Applications from non-EU students are welcome, but a successful non-EU candidate would be responsible for paying the difference between non-EU and UK/EU fees. (Fees for 2015/16 are £12,300 for non-EU students and £4,052 for UK/EU students)
For informal enquiries about the studentship, please contact Prof Matt Henn – email@example.com
To download an application pack, please visit the Graduate School website
Please return completed application forms, with copies of academic certificates to: firstname.lastname@example.org
The closing date for applications is 12:00 noon on Friday 12 June 2015. This deadline will be strictly adhered to. Application by CV only or incomplete applications will not be accepted.
We expect to be able to interview shortlisted candidates on or around Thursday 2nd July.
Please do not hesitate to contact the Graduate School at email@example.com if you have any further queries.