DJI Kolloquium online

New School Media and Old School Politics: Pathways for Youth Inclusion and Representation

Datum: 18. Juni 2024 13:00 Uhr - 14:30 Uhr

Twenty-five years ago, Pippa Norris (1997) aptly described that parliaments comprise middle-aged to senior men of the dominant ethnicity. Over the past two decades, this picture has somewhat changed. In particular, when it comes to gender and ethnicity, parliaments across the globe have become more diverse. Unfortunately, the same diversification has not taken place when it comes to young MPs. Why aren’t young people participating in legislative institutions? Brit Anlar (Rutgers University) and Dr. Kirstie Lynn Dobbs (Merrimack College) shed light on this question by presenting data on youth representation in the United States and globally. First, Dobbs uses a behavioral approach to understand the connection between young people’s digital activism and their propensity to self-identify as political party members. Then, Anlar discusses how institutional arrangements impact young people’s descriptive representation across U.S. state legislatures, including age requirements, legislative professionalism, term limits, and electoral system type. Together, these studies showcase that bringing youth into the “political fold” requires a schematic that incorporates various stages of the candidate recruitment process, starting with meeting engaged young people at their initial “choice” forms of participation, followed by arranging institutions that foster inclusivity and access to the policy-making table.

Dr. Kirstie Lynn Dobbs
is an Assistant Professor of Practice in the Department of Political Science & Public Policy at Merrimack College. She specializes in youth political participation and civic engagement with expertise in the Middle East and North Africa. Dr. Dobbs conducted field research in Tunisia and Morocco and has worked as a research consultant with the United States Agency for International Development, the Arab Reform Initiative, and the European Partnership for Democracy on youth political leadership and engagement. She currently conducts engaged research with numerous community organizations in Lawrence, Massachusetts. Her research focuses on understanding the praxis behind youth inclusion in politics and society, especially among underserved populations.

Brit Anlar will complete her doctorate in Political Science from Rutgers University in fall 2023. She specializes in Women and Politics and Comparative Politics, with a particular focus on the political representation of young adults, specifically young women from a global perspective. In her dissertation research, she focuses on how formal and informal institutions within Scandinavian political parties shape young women’s political ambitions and access to political office holding. In addition, Anlar is the lead graduate researcher on the Young Elected Leaders Project, as well as the founding member and secretary of the Youth Political Representation Research Network.