Alienation, Civic Privatism, Emancipatory and Populist Activism: Patterns of Youth Participation in Europe

Monday, 11 July 2016: 15:00
Location: Seminarsaal 10 (Juridicum)
Oral Presentation
Domonkos SIK, University Eötvös Loránd, Hungary
In project MYPLACE the patterns of youth political culture were compared in 14 European countries with a survey (n=16 800). Based on the susceptibility to radical and populist ideologies, the willingness to participate in formal and informal political action, the interest in the past, the nationalist or leftist orientation and the level of trust and security, idealtypical clusters of political participation were constructed:  the anxious alienation (high level of distrust and passivity), the civic privatism (high level of trust, antiradical orientation and passivity), the emancipatory activism (high level of historical consciousness, antiradicalism and activism) and the populist activism (high level of radicalism, distrust, activism, both nationalist and leftist orientation).  Based on the comparison of these patterns of participation three political constellations were identified in Europe. In Hungary, Slovakia and Russia alienation and populist activism dominates the political culture, which means that those actors are lacking who could prevent further radicalization. In contrast, in Denmark, Spain and Germany civic privatism and emancipatory activism are dominant, which seems to secure the frames of democratic participation. In Estonia, Latvia, Finland, Croatia, Portugal, Greece, Georgia and the UK mixed patterns were found: while emancipatory activism were lacking, neither populism nor alienation dominated the political culture, which means that even if democratic participation is not secured, radicalism is far from becoming dominant. Based on these differences both culturalist (claiming that participation patterns are the result of a cultural-social historical heritage) and structuralist (claiming that they are the results of economic situation) explanations of participation are reevaluated.