In search of an appropriate channel for voicing political concerns: political participation among radicalised youth in Europe

Published on February 20, 2023, in the Journal of Contemporary European Studies

This research aims to identify values related to political and civic participation methods among the two groups of radicalised youngsters: native youth who support movements labelled as far-right (N= 122) and migrant-origin self-identified Muslim youth with strong organisational ties with religious communities (N=109) in Germany, Belgium, France, and the Netherlands. The study posits that these these radically aligned youngsters position themselves against politically moderate European citizens, who are less intuitive when making judgements on political affairs comparing to them. Diverging from the unifying European values and hypersensitivities, these youngsters’ political reactions are often radical and loud in their safe-to-speak, segregated movements. By using the narrations of the range of mainstream modes of political participation, the current qualitative research asks what appears valuable for the two groups of young people to express their political discontent. Findings revealed that both groups highlighted similar values regarding voting. Self-identified Muslim youth stressed the importance of volunteering and street protests (despite not having participated in one). Many native youths, on the other hand, stressed the function of unlawful behaviour in street protests to pursue political objectives. The findings such as these are discussed considering the group differences.

The article is available under a Gold Open Access Licence.