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Voting behaviour of the young generations

Publication Type:

Conference Paper


5th ECPR General Conference 2009, Potsdam (2009)


attitudes, italy, left-right placement, social background, values, young voters


The proposed paper aims to analyze the voting behavior of young people in Italy, using data from the IARD surveys for 1983 to 2000. The main question is which factors influence the voting behavior of the young generations in Italy. The project is divided in two stages: first, the relevant independent and dependent variables are selected, then, a logistic regression model will be built. The variables will be divided into four main categories: socio-demographic variables; variables of participation and interest; attitudinal variables and variables in behavior. These are the independent variables of the study, the voting behavior (focusing on the distinction between political parties of the center left and the center right) is the dependent one. The logistic regression model will include the independent variables for blocks: in the first block, sociodemographic variables are included, in the second one, values, attitudes, interest and participation; in the third, the location of respondent along the left-right scale. In this way the effect of varying background it can be controlled for each variable. Being a large-n study, the paper will rely on quantitative methods. In this way, the following findings can be achieved: 1) Young Italians in our sample of respondents are not a political generation as defined in Mannheim [1974];2) there is a life-cycle effect (and some period effects) which explains differences in the voting behavior of respondents; 3) the influence of the traditional sociological variables on the vote has decreased in favor of the closest variables to the individual decision to vote, such as those of attitudes, values, interest and participation; 4) the left-right distinction is beginning to take on new meanings.