Political participation of older adults in Scandinavia - the civic voluntarism model revisited? A multi-level analysis of three types of political participation

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Mikael Nygård
Gunborg Jakobsson


This article examines political participation among older adults in österbotten, Finland, and Västerbotten, Sweden. Two specific hypotheses are tested. First, we anticipate that older adults are loyal voters but less avid in engaging in politics between elections. Second, we expect individuallevel resources to explain why older people participate in politics.

The article offers two contributions to the literature on political participation of older adults. First, it corroborates earlier findings by showing that older adults indeed have a higher inclination to vote than to engage in political activities between elections, but it also shows that the latter engagement is more diversified than one could expect. Second, although the findings largely support the resource model, they suggest that we need to consider also other factors such as the overall attitude towards older people.


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