Youth future civic participation in Europe
Differences between the east and the rest
European countries were economically and politically separated during the Cold War, but since its end processes of globalization and the formation of the European Union have contributed to blur the borders. Previous studies suggest that the social transformations have affected differently civic participation of youths, but shortage of more recent data has precluded researchers from examining the differences in a country-comparative fashion. Along these lines, this paper has two main objectives: to explore the differences in the levels of expected civic participation across Europe, and to evaluate the fit of a theoretical model of civic participation in regard to the different points in time their democracies were established. To achieve these goals, data from 22 European educational systems (9 post-communist and 13 established democracies) participating in the International Civic and Citizenship Study (2009) conducted by International Association for the Evaluation of Educational Achievement is used. The results, in accordance with the literature, suggest differentiated patterns of future civic participation between the new and established democracies, but they are not that clear, suggesting that convergence between the two groups is ongoing. However, the tested empirical model of civic participation functions in a better way in the established than in the new democracies. In contrast with previous findings, differences in levels of expected civic participation seem to be related not only with the countries’ experience with democracy, but also with their cultural similarities and common history.