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Article

Participeren jongeren anders?

Een contextspecifiek antwoord op basis van het Belgische Oosterweelreferendum

Keywords political participation, young, New Politics, referendum, context
Authors Peter Thijssen
Author's information

Peter Thijssen
Peter Thijssen is hoofddocent aan het Departement Politieke Wetenschappen van de Universiteit Antwerpen. Hij is lid van de onderzoeksgroep Media, Middenveld en Politiek (M2P). Zijn onderzoek spitst zich toe op de wisselwerking tussen publieke opinie en politieke participatie.
  • Abstract

      According to the advocates of the New Politics thesis youngsters are generally less interested in general elections, but are rather attracted by citizen-initiated referendums that are inspired by ecological, elite-challenging and pro-social motives. However, other scholars contend that the age-related differences that characterize participation in general elections are more or less universal because what really matters is how much is at stake. Yet, maybe a middle ground can be found between both perspectives if one explicitly takes into account the conditional nature of the New Politics theoretical framework. Based on exit-poll data regarding participation and vote choice in a Belgian citizen-initiated referendum in three different local contexts we test these conditional hypotheses. Our findings reveal that consistent with the New Politics thesis youngsters participate more and prefer pro-ecology, elite-challenging, and pro-social issue-frames, but only in ‘low stakes-contexts’ where no NIMBY-interests are at play.

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