22 April 2010

The Internet Generation

Engaged Citizens or Political Dropouts

An investigation of political disengagements among young people in North America and Europe.

Dispite rising levels of education and mounting calls for encreased democratic participation, recent years have seen a significant decline on voter turnout in many countries, and the erosion of the sense of civic duty that brought earlier generations to the polls.

Henry Milner looks at the United States, Canada, Scandinavia, and the European Union to probe the decline of youth voting and attentiveness to politics, and draw lessons about institutions that could break down the wall between political life and "real" life that underlies political abstention among the Internet Generation. Civic education is the key to instill habits of attentiveness to public affairs, especially among potential political dropouts.
Milner sets out a series of ways to bring the issues - and the political parties´ stance on them - to the classroom, including visits, simulations, and innovative use of media, old and new.

Henry Milner is a political scientist at the University of Montreal in Canada and Umeå University in Sweden, and co-editor of Inroads, a Canadian journal of policy and opinion.