NOVA has initiated a research project about political attitudes and engagement among Norwegian youth. Trust and mistrust in societal and political institutions among ordinary and radical youth is central to the study.
Recent research shows that today's youth are generally straighter than ever: they are doing well at school, they drink less and they are generally behaving more agreeably.
At the same time, the mass media paint a picture of some young peoples political engagement associated with right-winged nationalism or with radical Islamic groups.
Against such a backdrop of different representations of the young, the NOVA researchers are to investigate various sides of how political opinions and political engagement are expressed.
The objective of the study is to create a better understanding of the social conditions under which young peoples engagement in politics are formed.
Young in Oslo
A first part of the study applies the Young in Oslo Study, based on a questionnaire carried out among 10.000 young people between 14 and 16 years of age in Oslo. The research team will investigate the political attitudes most prevalent among the young today.
The researchers will try to find out, inter alia, whether there is a connection between various political attitudes and trust in societys basic institutions. They will also investigate the development of young peoples political attitudes over a period of time.
The edges of the mainstream
The second part of the study is qualitative and will be based upon interviews with young people at the edges of the mainstream.
The objective here is to acquire better understandings of how their life experiences might cause mistrust, dissatisfaction, and frustrations, and whether such experiences may lead to more radical political views that are difficult to express through conventional and established political channels.
The research team expresses its gratitude to GE Foundation for financial support.
- Vestel, V. & Bakken, A. (2016). Holdninger til ekstremisme. Resultater fra Ung i Oslo 2015. NOVA Rapport 4/16 (fagarkivet.oslomet.no).
- Vestel, V. (2016). I gråsonen. Ungdom og politisk ekstremisme i det nye Norge. Oslo: Universitetsforlaget (universitetsforlaget.no).
- Vestel, V. (2016). Ungdom og politisk ekstremisme i det nye Norge. Kronikk. Aftenposten, 24.08.2016 (aftenposten.no).
- Pedersen, W.; Vestel, V.J., Bakken, A. (2017). At risk for radicalization and jihadism? A population-based study of Norwegian adolescents. Cooperation and Conflict (journals.sagepub.com).