A collaboration between d|part and the Bundeskanzler-Helmut-Schmidt-Stiftung
Young people in Germany are often considered as mostly apolitical by the public. After years of climate demonstrations, #BlackLivesMatter, and initiatives to support refugees, this myth of a politically fatigued youth no longer holds up. Furthermore, the internet and particularly social media have allowed new ways for political action and positioning. On the one hand, there is by now a better understanding about how young people in Germany get politically involved. On the other hand, there are still gaps in our knowledge of what motivates young people to get involved and what are barriers for participation, for example in elections or political parties. Particularly regarding motivations, there is this assumption about young people not voting in elections out of disinterest. Not few young people state, however, that they struggle to make the “right” political decision due to an overflow of information.
In cooperation with the Bundeskanzler-Helmut-Schmidt-Stiftung, this project aims to gain a deeper understanding about how young people get politically involved and how they absorb political contents and information from decision-makers. How do they deal with potentially populist contents and what impact does such information have on their willingness to become politically involved? What exactly do young people themselves perceive as political information and where do they search for information on political decisions and decision-makers?
We will address these questions via mixed methods, including analysis of survey data, focus groups, and interviews. These will involve young people as well as political decisions-makers. The results will be presented to the public in brief in autumn 2021 and in a comprehensive report in spring 2022.
© Image: Leonhard Lenz via Wikimedia Commons