Can Volunteering on ‘Real World’ Issues Influence Political Engagement among Young People? A UK case study
Political engagement among young people has been lower than other voting groups for several decades. In the United Kingdom, since 2010, the 18 - 24 age group has received considerable scrutiny in the wake of major political decisions and election outcomes. In light of low political engagement among young people, the government’s Electoral Commission has encouraged universities to seek new ways to encourage more young people to vote. Volunteering, which is offered in some form by most UK universities, is recognized through various studies as a way of building social capital and creating civic engagement. This research presents a case study of whether a program of focused volunteering for university students can better enhance participants’ political awareness by exposing them to people directly affected by political policies, in this case refugees and migrant communities.
Citation : Blair, A. and Charlton, M. (2021) Can Volunteering on ‘Real World’ Issues Influence Political Engagement Among Young People? A UK Case Study. In: Teaching Civic Engagement Globally, eds. Elizabeth C. Matto, Alison Rios Millet McCartney, Elizabeth A. Bennion, Alasdair Blair, Taiyi Sun and Dawn Whitehead, American Political Science Association.
Peer Reviewed : Yes