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Young people, the Internet and political participation : findings of a web survey in Italy, Spain and The Netherlands

By D. Calenda and A.J. Meijer


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

Year: 2009
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