FSD2049 Young People and Local Democracy 2004: Active Participants

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  • Advisory Council for Youth Affairs (Nuora)
  • Finnish Youth Research Society. Finnish Youth Research Network
  • Association of Finnish Local and Regional Authorities


citizen participation, groups, local government policy, political action, political participation, politics, social influence, young people, youth

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The survey charted perceptions of politics and interest groups among young people who are involved in these groups. Interest groups refer here to groups operating at a local level and trying to promote youth's interests and needs. Respondents' attitude to local government policy and politics were studied with attitudinal statements. Some questions focused on inequality, immigrants and ways and channels of political influence. Respondents were asked to what extent characterisations such as local citizen and member of global community apply to them. They were asked to assess how much power different bodies have, for example, municipal council and the media. Attitudes to organisations and associations and their activities as well as taking measures such as municipal initiatives were studied. Respondents were also asked whether they would vote in the 2004 municipal elections and whether they would like to stand as a candidate in municipal elections. In case respondents themselves were politically active, their trust in, for example, friends, other citizens and international non-governmental organisations was examined.

When asking about respondents' interest groups, questions pertained to the type of the group, way of electing its members, founder of the group and its goal of action. Respondents were also asked to what extent their group uses different ways of action, for example, the right of initiative and Internet sites which enable youth to contact interest groups or influence them. Reasons for joining the group and participation in different training events and seminars were surveyed. Respondents' opinions on the role of adults in the group were charted. They were also asked how much and what sort of things they have learnt in their interest group, for example, political skills and desire to be involved in a political party.

Background variables included respondent's gender, age, educational institution (pupils and students) and economic activity (others).

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