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Politics and International Relations Research Seminar

Young Cosmopolitans and Environmental Politics: How Postmaterialist Values Feed Youth Engagement in Environmental Issues in Established Democracies By Prof. Matt Henn and Dr Ana Pontes

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Recently, important new research has emerged to explain the large intergenerational cleavages in values and political preferences, as illustrated for instance, by the overwhelming opposition of younger voters to both the election of Donald Trump in the US and their rejection of Brexit in the UK.

Matt Henn is Professor of Social Research in the Department of Politics and International Relations.

  • From: Wednesday 4 March 2020, 1 pm
  • To: Wednesday 4 March 2020, 2 pm
  • Location: CH2702, Chaucer Building, Nottingham Trent University, Goldsmith Street, Nottingham, NG1 5LS
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Event details

Recently, important new research has emerged to explain the large intergenerational cleavages in values and political preferences, as illustrated for instance, by the overwhelming opposition of younger voters to both the election of Donald Trump in the US and their rejection of Brexit in the UK. In most established democracies (and many newer democracies), young people are more likely to possess postmaterialist values and are much more cosmopolitan in their outlook (socially liberal, accepting of cultural diversity and outward looking) than older generations.

They tend to reject mainstream electoral politics and authoritarian-nationalist forms of populism in favour of alternative, progressive political parties and movements.  Although there is a considerable body of existing literature that examines the rise of postmaterialist and cosmopolitan values, there is little work that focuses on the relationship with the prioritisation of environmental issues and environmental activism. In this paper, we use data from the

European Social Survey to explore the connection between postmaterialist and materialist values, and support for environmental issues and environmental activism across 28 democracies. Whilst the survey data predate the recent school Strike 4 Climate movement, findings demonstrate a clear connection between postmaterialist values and environmental politics amongst young people in general and amongst particular segments of the youth population in particular (young women, 16-18 year olds).

Matt Henn is Professor of Social Research in the Department of Politics and International Relations.

Location details

Address:

Chaucer Building
Nottingham Trent University
Goldsmith Street
Nottingham
NG1 5LS

Past event

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