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Young Voters in Six European Countries

Nicola Maggini
Dipartimento di Scienze Politiche e Sociali, Università di Firenze
Nicola Maggini
Dipartimento di Scienze Politiche e Sociali, Università di Firenze
Open Panel

Abstract

The proposed paper aims to analyze the voting behavior of young people in six European countries (Italy, France, Spain, Netherlands, Sweden, Uk) using data from the World Values Surveys from 1981 to 2000. Why is the electoral behavior of the younger generation important? The deep differences between the young generations and the older ones would have produced a division of great importance for the study of political behavior. All this happens in a period in which the role played by traditional sociological variables - and primarily those related to so-called social cleavages according to the Stein Rokkan’s classic theory [1970] - on electoral behavior has become less important. In this respect, the theoretical approach of post-materialism [Inglehart 1971, 1993] suggests in fact the birth of new political divisions based on the values caused by the gradual replacement of priorities arising from materialistic concerns related to economic and physical security with priorities of post-materialist type. The main question is which factors influence the choice for a party among the young generations in Europe. I test the hypothesis that these factors change over time. The strategy of analysis is based on a novel application to vote choice variables of the stacked-dataset, multilevel analysis design originally developed by Van der Eijk etc.... whose advantages are the inclusion of all (including small) parties, as well as the possibilities of including party features in the explanatory model.