Posted on 12/11/2013
Dr James Sloam of the Department of Politics and International Relations and Royal Holloway, University of London recently participated in Portsmouth City Council's Local Democracy Week, where he gave a presentation on youth participation in politics.
James is a specialist on youth politics in Britain and Europe. His recent research found that while young people are interested in politics there is a worrying disengagement with the political system which is manifested in low voter turnout and distrust of politicians, particularly when Britain is compared with other European democracies.
As a result, young people have become marginalized from politics and by public policy in Britain. Given that young people only represent a small part of the population and are less likely to vote than older citizens, youth issues are given a low priority by politicians (consider, for example, the recent tripling of university tuition fees to £9,000). James argues that this is likely to lead to further disillusionment with politicians as the vicious circle continues.
As part of his work for the Political Studies Association specialist group on young people’s politics, James is heavily involved in youth engagement activities.
Follow James on Twitter @James_Sloam.