Insti­tu­tions of rep­re­sen­ta­tive democ­ra­cy seem to be in cri­sis in Ger­many. Few­er young peo­ple are inter­est­ed in elec­tions or mem­bers of polit­i­cal par­ties. With almost 50 per cent the pro­por­tion of non-vot­ers is far above aver­age among 18- to 30-year-olds. Rather than in insti­tu­tions of rep­re­sen­ta­tive democ­ra­cy young peo­ple today pre­fer to take part in ad hoc polit­i­cal action or are active as vol­un­teers in what they con­sid­er non-polit­i­cal movements.

We asked young vol­un­teers of the Ger­man Youth for Under­stand­ing Com­mit­tee (YFU) e.V. what moti­vates them or acts as a bar­ri­er pre­vent­ing them from par­tic­i­pat­ing in pol­i­tics and how they imag­ine forms of par­tic­i­pa­tion that meet their needs. In a group dis­cus­sion, the young peo­ple revealed their views on polit­i­cal participation.

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