Skoči do osrednje vsebine

Outside the ballot box: Youth perceptions and practices of political participation




1.10.2021 - 30.9.2024

Range on year:

0.19 FTE | 2021

Project leader at FDV: Marinko Banjac

External project leader:




Research activity:

Social sciences

The phases of the project and their realization:

The sequential exploratory model will be used and implemented in three intertwined phases. The first phase will be an in-depth qualitative study. We will explore the representations and portrayal of youth political participation within the framework of youth policy-making processes in Slovenia (Work Package 2). In addition, we will conduct a study of youth practices and perceptions of politics and political participation beyond voting. Taking into consideration the heterogeneity of young people, we will divide them into three groups according to their assumed diverse political activity: 1) young politicians (WP 3) who are formally involved in politics, 2) young activists (WP 4) who are activists in heterogeneous ways in various content areas, and 3) apolitical youth (WP 5) who declare themselves as not interested in politics. We will explore each of these groups in separate work packages, in which we will conduct two focus groups and 12 in-depth interviews with individuals from each group. In the second phase, a quantitative survey will be conducted on a representative population of young people in Slovenia. WP 6 is thus intended to measure the youth perceptions of politics and political participation beyond voting. The final and third phase will include data triangulation and integration of results and will be dedicated to the implementation of final analyses (WP 7). With such a research set-up, the main project goals are: 1) to operationalise an innovative research approach for studying youth political participation beyond voting; 2) to gain insights into the representations and portrayal of youth political participation within the framework of youth policy-making processes in Slovenia; 3) to contribute to the understanding of what meanings young people attach to politics and how they understand and exercise political participation beyond voting; 4) to compare and make sense of the differences and/or similarities between the representations and portrayal of youth political participation within youth policy in Slovenia and the perspectives of young people on political participation (beyond voting); and 5) to develop an instrument for measuring youth political participation based on obtained youth perceptions and to develop methodological guidelines for researching young people and their political participation in national researches.

Research Organisation:


Citations for bibliographic records:


Youth political participation is one of the key challenges of contemporary democracies and one of the most studied phenomena within political science and, more broadly, social sciences. The reasons for such interest are related to normative assumptions that citizens’ participation, especially young, is crucial for democracy. Another reason is also in recognizing persistently low levels of youth involvement in formal political participation, which is commonly regarded as one of the fundamental indicators of the crisis of representative democracy. As contemporary studies convincingly argue, young people, despite their lack of interest in formal channels of political participation, are attracted to alternative ways of participating in political life. However, most researches on youth political participation use narrow definitions and pre-defined channels of political participation, leaving out essential questions, namely how young people perceive themselves and what meanings they attach to politics and political participation. In response to this identified problem of research, the project builds on the contemporary orientations of “researching with youth”, which places young people at the centre of research, gives them a voice, and treats them as active participants providing key contributions to the research. In the project application, we designed a “beyond the ballot box” approach, which will start from the position of young people and: 1) derive from a broad definition of politics and political participation, 2) recognize and include the youth heterogeneity, 3) address apolitical youth, 4) compare political representations and portrayals of youth political participation in formal (youth) policies with the youth perceptions of political participation beyond voting, and 5) use multidisciplinary approach and mixed methodology. In accordance with the above starting points, the Beyond the Ballot Box: Perceptions and Practices of Political Participation of Young People project will be implemented in a methodologically innovative way, through an integration of qualitative and quantitative methods.

Back to list of projects