English title: Understanding Electoral Turnout Among British Young People: A Review of the Literature

Author(s): Edward Phelps -

Language: English

Type: Journal article

Year: 2012


This article reviews the literature on youth engagement in politics. The article develops the argument that much of the research in this area is not set within the commonly understood and widely accepted political science literature on the determinants of voting behaviour in the UK. The article critiques the methodological approach which underpins much of this research, suggesting that in order to gain a real understanding of the dynamics of contemporary youth engagement an understanding of generational influences and differences is essential. I argue that explanations for youth disengagement tend to emanate from two schools of thought: the traditional political science understanding of youth turnout based on life-cycle explanations, or what I term the ‘anti-apathy’ approach, which, I argue, fails to situate young people's political activity within the context of the political life cycle.

Volume: 65

Issue: 1

From page no: 281

To page no: 299

Refereed: Yes

DOI: 10.1093/PA/GSR056

Journal: Parliamentary Affairs

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