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YOUNG PEOPLE, THE INTERNET AND POLITICAL PARTICIPATION

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Do young people participate in politics? Some claim that young people are not as much involved in politics as their parents were, others argue that young people are interested in politics but in a different way than previous generations. The Internet is said to play an important role in 'new politics'. This raises the question whether the Internet triggers new forms of political participation by young people. We use the results of a large scale web questionnaire, among 2,163 students in three countries (Italy, Spain and the Netherlands) to answer this question. We conclude that the Internet reinvigorates political participation but does not trigger a shift from 'old' to 'new' politics. Traditional politics has managed to rethink its communication formats and therefore plays an important role in political participation by young people on the Internet.
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Keywords: Europe; political participation; web survey; young people

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: Department of Political Science and Sociology, DISPO - Political Science and Sociology, University of Florence, Florence, Italy 2: Utrecht School of Governance, ZC Utrecht, The Netherlands

Publication date: September 1, 2009

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