Enthusiastic consumers, non-committed Democrats – A study about the relationship of youth to Democracy in Hungary

Enthusiastic consumers, non-committed Democrats – A study about the relationship of youth to Democracy in Hungary

Jul 12, 2014
Political Capital Policy Research and Consulting Institute, Budapest
pdf
Date of Publication: 30.06.2013
License: All rights reserved.
Language of Publication: English

Since the transition, the liberal democratic system has produced a strong economic socialization effect on young Hungarians, educating them to become “good consumers” who have to a large extent embraced the goods offered by the global cultural and entertainment industry. In cooperation with the Heinrich Böll Foundation the Political Capital Institute prepared a study with a view to getting a better grasp of the factors underpinning widespread disillusionment with ‘democracy’, and uncovering the reasons behind the low levels of political activity among young people in Hungary.

Political socialization, on the other hand, has proved to be an absolute failure in the new democracy. While most Hungarian young people have developed an aversion towards politics, those who engage with the political process tend to support the far-right party Jobbik to a much larger extent than older generations. Recent surveys have revealed shockingly low support for ‘democracy as a system of rule’ among youth. Only app. 40% of them regard democracy as the best political system, while for about one-third it is totally irrelevant what political system they live in. In cooperation with the Heinrich Böll Foundation the Political Capital Institute prepared a study with a view to getting a better grasp of the factors underpinning widespread disillusionment with ‘democracy’, and uncovering the reasons behind the low levels of political activity among young people in Hungary. The study was based on secondary analysis of existing research and databases. While the 103 page long text is only available in Hungarian, the key findings and the recommendations formulated by experts are available in English.