This proposal seeks funding to carry out the first British national study into the attitudes towards political parties that are held by attainers, that is, those young people who are eligible to vote in an election for the first time. This is a particularly important field of study, given that policy makers are becoming increasingly concerned about the lack of engagement that young people appear to have with the formal political process and with democratic institutions more generally. By examining the way in which first-time voters view political parties, we will gain important insights into the broader question about whether or not there is a crisis of democratic legitimacy in Britain. We will also explore the extent to which youth opinion is uniform or differentiated in this respect. We will examine whether their gender, social class, ethnicity, level of educational attainment, their family background, or their peers influence attainers opinions. Regional analysis will be of particular value, since this will enable us to examine the efficacy of new political institutions that were designed to strengthen levels of citizens political engagement (such as the Welsh Assembly, the Scottish Parliament and the Greater London Assembly). We will assess the extent to which attainers who live in areas where such institutions now exist have different levels of attachment to political parties from those attainers who live in other areas. Attainers are a particularly important group to study because they are relatively inexperienced politically. Whilst they will have been exposed to many of the key factors that determine early political socialisation, they are a group whose views have yet to be challenged by personal experience of the electoral process. As a result they are far less likely than older age groups to have formed deep-seated views about politics, parties and politicians. This will be the first such study of its kind. A national questionnaire survey shall be carried out, with attainers selected randomly from the electoral register. The survey will be conducted by post, and will consist of an initial mailing of 3,000 attainers, from which it is intended to achieve a minimum sample size of 1,000 respondents. If this target is not achieved, a follow-up mailing will be sent to all those who have not responded. The project will generate significant quantitative data for both academics and non-academics. Academically, the data will help in developing a greater theoretical understanding of political participation in Britain, and of attitudes to political institutions, processes and procedures. In addition, it is anticipated that the findings will be of direct practical relevance to various non-academic groups who are interested in increasing levels of political engagement and citizenship. Such groups include policy-makers in central and local government and in other public institutions, as well as political parties



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Social capital and political participation : understanding the dynamics of young people’s political disengagement in contemporary Britain

Author: Matt Henn Date: 01 January 2007 Article (submitted)

Social capital and political participation : understanding the dynamics of young people’s political disengagement in contemporary Britain

Author: Matt Henn Date: 01 January 2007 Article (submitted)

'Self-serving' politicians blamed for youth apathy

Author: Matt Henn Date: 08 March 2006 Website

BBC News Online : Young voters have 'lost faith'

Author: Matt Henn Date: 08 March 2006 Website

BBC News : Beer and sandwich-boards

Author: Mark Weinstein Date: 08 March 2006 Website

Young people and political (in)activism : why don’t young people vote?

Author: Matt Henn Date: 01 January 2006 Article (submitted)

.pdf

Research Summary

Author: Matt Henn Date: 10 March 2005 Research summary

.pdf

Full Research Report

Author: Matt Henn Date: 10 March 2005 Full research report

Uninterested youth? : Young people’s attitudes towards party politics in Britain

Author: Matt Henn Date: 01 January 2005 Article (submitted)

Postal voting 'won't address apathy'

Author: Helene Mulholland Date: 08 June 2004 Newspaper

Students : Apathy in the UK

Author: Matt Henn Date: 04 June 2004 Newspaper

Fears and uncertainties that fuel support for the BNP : Letters

Author: Mark Weinstein Date: 14 May 2004 Newspaper

Engaged sceptics

Author: Matt Henn Date: 05 May 2004 Newspaper

Politically alienated or apathetic : young people's attitudes towards party politics in Britain

Author: Matt Henn Date: 01 January 2004 Book chapter

Interview

person involved: M C Henn Date: 22 May 2003 Audio/video recording

Interview on election evening

person involved: M P Weinstein Date: 22 May 2003 Audio/video recording

Interview on young voters

person involved: M C Henn Date: 22 May 2003 Audio/video recording

News report on young voters

person involved: M C Henn Date: 22 May 2003 Audio/video recording

Interview on young voters

person involved: M C Henn Date: 22 May 2003 Audio/video recording

Interview on young voters

person involved: M C Henn Date: 22 May 2003 Audio/video recording

Politics : Our youth do care

Author: Matt Henn Date: 22 April 2003 Newspaper

Stop blaming the young and start listening to them

Author: Matt Henn Date: 20 April 2003 Newspaper

'Self serving' politicians blamed for youth apathy

Author: M C Henn Date: 01 January 2003 Article (submitted)

Young voters have 'lost faith'

Author: M C Henn Date: 01 January 2003 Article (submitted)

Teens don't trust MPs

Author: M C Henn Date: 01 January 2003 Article (submitted)

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Start date
31 August 2001
End date
28 February 2003
Grant holder
Professor Matt Henn
Co-applicants
Dr Mark Weinstein
Grant amount
£30,842.52
Grant reference
R000223598
Discipline
Political Science and International Relations
Grant type