Age in Politics Youth Panel

17 May

Officeholders in parliaments and cabinets are often male, wealthy and middle-aged or older. Young adults — those under 35 — is a mere ten percent of parliament members and three percent of all cabinet members, worldwide. Compared to the general population, this age group is underrepresented by a factor of one to three in parliament and one to ten in cabinet.

As part of our upcoming seminar on the underrepresentation of youth in politics, we have consulted our Youth Panel to get their thoughts on these problems. An overwhelming majority of our panel (96%), feel that it is a problem that young people are underrepresented among politicians. One aspect is the failure of old politicians to build policies that are sustainable in the long term. One respondent argues: “…politics is inclined to focus on short-term problem and adopt short-term solutions, often failing to provide for the future generations. Having old politicians only contributes to exacerbate this problem.

However, only 40% of the respondents say that they would be more inclined to vote for a younger politician than an old one. As one respondent explains: “For me it does not depend on the age. It depends on what they have proved to have done and what their values and visions for the future look like.

The results from the survey will be presented this Monday in a seminar on age and politics, together with new research from political scientist Aksel Stockemer. The seminar is open to everyone and is held at the Gothenburg School of Business, Economics & Law, with the option to participate online. Registration here.

The full results from the survey can be found here.