FEATURED: CIRCLE Working Paper 60: The Informed Political Participation of Young Canadians and Americans
by Henry Milner
Political knowledge is an important precondition of voting and other forms of political participation. Both knowledge and participation have declined among young people in many industrialized democracies. Comparative analysis is important for understanding the causes of these declines and proposing reforms. This paper is based on the results of CIRCLE’s Civic and Political Health of the Nation Survey (2006) and a Canadian survey designed to be comparable conducted that same year. The results indicate that knowledge is indeed a correlate of participation. American young people have troubling gaps in political knowledge, even compared to their Canadian peers.