Quaranta, M. ‘An apathetic generation? Cohorts’ patterns of political participation in Italy.’ Social Indicators Research 125.3 (2016): 793-812 Publisher link | Preprint


This article assesses the patterns of political participation of different cohorts in two forms of conventional political participation, attending political parties meetings and donating money to political parties, and in two forms of unconventional political participation, attending meetings of environmental, peace and civil rights associations and attending demonstrations, in Italy. To test the claim that the younger cohorts are less politically involved the article uses Bayesian cross-classified mixed models and repeated survey data collected by the Italian National Institute of Statistics between 1993 and 2012. It is found that the conventional forms of participation are more widespread among “baby-boomers” than among the younger cohorts. Conversely, unconventional forms are increasingly popular in the cohorts born after the 1950s, particularly in the younger ones. The results show that the idea of the Italian younger cohorts as being apathetic and detached from the political sphere may be incorrect.

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