Youth, Precarious Employment and Political Participation in Hungary


  • Péter Róbert HAS Centre for Social Sciences
  • Dániel Oross HAS Centre for Social Sciences
  • Andrea Szabó HAS Centre for Social Sciences

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Young Europeans’ political responses to the economic crisis have neither been uniform nor overly promising for the future of democratic Europe. We seek to identify potential causal relationships between young peoples’ employment status and choice of political participation (i.e. both traditional and non-traditional forms of political participation, as well as emerging alternatives). Although politicians and academics highlight that young people are increasingly disengaged from conventional politics, and papers have been published about different aspects of this topic, young peoples’ perspectives and generational differences are rarely taken into account simultaneously. In this paper we characterize the consequences of the economic and employment conditions of youth on political engagement. Our paper focuses on Hungary, which has struggled with youth unemployment.

The paper involves secondary data analysis of cross-national surveys, involving six datasets (2004, 2006, 2008, 2010, 2012, 2015) from the European Social Survey (ESS). Results indicate that greater involvement and responsibility in the workplace increase political participation, whereas the impact of the other labour market indicators (unemployment, work flexibility) on political participation is not straightforward.

Author Biographies

Péter Róbert, HAS Centre for Social Sciences

Department of Political Behaviour

Andrea Szabó, HAS Centre for Social Sciences

Head of Research Department of Political Behaviour, Research Fellow (MTA TK PTI)