Youth, Citizenship and Democracy: A comparative study of national youth policy in Nordic countries

Research output: Chapter in Book/Conference proceedingConference contributionScientific


Representative democracy, with its democratic citizens, has long been subject to discussion in the Western world. In Sweden, membership numbers for the established political parties have diminished over time. However, young people's political engagement in societal issues, both nationally and internationally, has remained relatively high. There are significant differences between young people regarding political interest and engagement because of different social and economic conditions. Further, an active citizenship may be impeded by a societal development where life conditions deteriorate more for some groups than for others. At the same time, the reluctance among economically marginalized groups to participate in the procedures of democracy remains when the meaning of an active democratic citizenship is perceived as limited. Research shows that there is a need for further research in the field, in particular more qualitative studies to complement the various national and international longitudinal quantitative studies such as IEA: Cived and ICCS.

Every third year in the Nordic countries, a comprehensive longitudinal youth survey is conducted which follows up national youth policy. The target groups for the study are young people aged 13-16. The survey focuses on young people's views on questions concerning democracy and participation, citizenship, health, enjoyment of school, leisure activities, work, and future plans.

This study focuses on young people's democratic and civic competence in three Nordic regions: Gävleborg (Sweden), Ostrobothnia (Finland), and the Oslo region (Norway). Based on the longitudinal youth surveys studying young people's skills, capacities, and opportunities for active democratic citizenship, in order to further assure the quality of education and youth policy work in the surveyed regions,

Original languageUndefined/Unknown
Title of host publicationAARE Conference Proceedings
EditorsMargaret Baguley
PublisherAARE Conference
Publication statusPublished - 2014
MoE publication typeB3 Non-refereed article in conference proceedings
EventAARE-NZARE 2014 Conference - AARE-NZARE 2014 Conference
Duration: 30 Nov 20144 Dec 2014


ConferenceAARE-NZARE 2014 Conference

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