Political Radicalism among the Younger Generations
Youth and Globalization
123 - 136 p.
Youth & Adolescence, Radicalism
In contemporary democracies, protest feeds on the difficulties currently facing political representation and is expressed within the framework of direct rather than representative democracy. The increase in protest-based attitudes and behaviours observed in many countries around the world (especially among younger generations) is undoubtedly related to the current climate of widespread mistrust in the institutionalized and representative mediation of politics. Since the beginning of the 1980s, a number of studies in political science have reported the gradual rise of more critical forms of citizenship to the detriment of institutional forms of civic and political participation. On the one hand, critical citizenship has gathered strength as the relationship between ordinary citizens and politics has become more individualised and, on the other, as traditional party allegiances have weakened (Hirschman, 1970, Inglehart, 1977, Norris, 1999). This more demanding and protest-based political culture, has led to greater familiarity with a protest-based repertoire of opinions and/or actions, and an enhanced tendency towards extremism and radicalization, particularly among younger generations.