Is Voting for Young People? (Great Questions in Politics)

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9780205217724: Is Voting for Young People? (Great Questions in Politics)

Updated in a 3rd edition, Is Voting for Young People? explores the reasons why the young are less likely to follow politics and vote in the United States, as well as in many other established democracies. This brief, accessible, and provocative book suggests ways of changing that, and now includes a chapter on young people's role in the 2008 and 2010 elections.

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From the Back Cover:

“For years, political scientists have told their students that it doesn’t make a difference whether they vote because one vote won’t make a difference.  This book is antidote to that argument.” – Richard Niemi, University of Rochester

 

Marty Wattenberg's new book is a brilliant analysis of a big and growing problem in modern democracies; it is also an urgently needed wake-up call.  How can we call ourselves a democracy if fewer and fewer people participate in elections and, in addition, if these voters are far from representative of the whole population?  The author's recommendations for remedial action, including the adoption of mandatory voting, deserve the most serious consideration.

- Arend Lijphart, Professor Emeritus of Political Science, University of California – San Diego   

 

This text is likely to become one of the seminal works on voting – readers of all levels cannot help but be impressed by the clarity and strength of Wattenberg’s answer to why young people do not vote, and his solution will spur debate about the meanings of democracy, rights, and responsibilities.

- Sean Matheson, Knox College

 

This is first-rate scholarship.  Wattenberg synthesizes the current scholarship in the field of voter turnout, and integrates competing theories in an accessible manner. Wattenberg’s [book] makes an important contribution to our understanding of voter participation, while at the same time speaking directly to young people. 

- Miki Kittilson, Arizona State University

 

This is a fine example of putting first rate social science research in the service of larger normative concerns.  Not everyone will agree with Wattenberg's prescription, but his description of the disengagement of younger citizens here and in other advanced democracies, his explanation for their disengagement, and his identification of the consequences of their disengagement are compelling.

- Morris Fiorina, Stanford University

 

Everyone who seeks to understand today's politics, and tomorrow's, ought to read Martin P. Wattenberg's marvelous new book. Today's young adults are not like yesterday's. Even if you had thought they are less interested in politics and in news, you're going to be surprised by how much less involved they are. Democracy here and in Europe faces the disturbing challenge of how to get young people to take part in their governing.

- Thomas E. Patterson, Bradlee Professor of Government and the Press, Harvard University

About the Author:

Martin P. Wattenberg is Professor of Political Science at the University of California, Irvine, USA.

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