In a couple of weeks, Dutch citizens aged 18 and above will be participating in an upcoming election. What are the opinions of adolescents and young adults when it comes to politics?. Erasmus SYNC Lab investigated this in collaboration with the Hot Politics labs from the University of Amsterdam. The findings reveal that less than one in three young people (30%) are interested in Dutch politics. Interestingly, this stands in sharp contrast to the interest in specific political subjects: 53% of young people express an interest in specific political themes.
For example, two out of three young people (67%) are interested in crime, while more than half show an interest in climate change (55%), terrorism (52%), and poverty (50%). The issue of refugees is of interest to two out of five adolescents (40%).
Politics on social media
Social media proves to be the most popular way for young people to stay informed about Dutch politics. This underscores the importance of online platforms as effective tools for connecting with and involving the younger generation in political dialogues and decision-making procedures.
Importance of justice and equality
The research findings also highlight the importance that youngster place on justice and equality. The majority of adolescents and young adults, specifically 83%, emphasized the importance of laws benefiting as many individuals as possible. More than eight out of ten adolescents (83%) find it important that the law benefits as many individuals as possible. Moreover, an equivalent number of young people (84%) believe that reducing economic disparities between the wealthy and the less fortunate is essential.
Motivation to vote
The Erasmus SYNC Lab and Hot Politics Lab conducted this study to gain insight into the political interests and views of young people in the Rotterdam area. Researcher Dr. Lysanne te Brinke explains the added value of this collaboration: "The collaboration between psychologists and political scientists yields unique insights. It is one thing to find out which young people might vote for, but we take a step further by uncovering their underlying motives." The research findings provide valuable insights for policymakers, political parties, and other stakeholders involved in shaping the political landscape and promoting youth participation."