Youth and the populist wave

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Foa, RS 
Mounk, Y 

jats:p If the values of younger citizens and voters are the trend of the future, in what direction do they point? Scholars have long noted a decline in political engagement and knowledge among youth in developed democracies, with the fear that this may undermine the stability of liberal institutions. However, youth electoral behaviour appears inconsistent: in much of continental Western Europe, younger voters support populist parties of both left and right, but in the United States and the United Kingdom, only left-wing populist movements benefit from youth mobilization. We explain this divergence by arguing for a distinction between democratic apathy and democratic antipathy. Democratic apathy is characterized by scepticism regarding the value of democratic institutions, low turnout and lack of interest in politics, whereas democratic antipathy involves the active embrace of illiberal movements hostile to pluralistic institutions. In societies where youth do not face economic and social discrimination, democratic apathy is the more common trend, whereas in parts of continental Europe where youth face systematic social exclusion, apathy has become active antipathy. </jats:p>

democratic consolidation, democracy, populism, public opinion, voting behaviour, youth
Journal Title
Philosophy and Social Criticism
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SAGE Publications