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Ana

Isabel Pontes

United Kingdom

More about Ana

In recent years, political engagement has received increasing attention and significance in the established democracies. Much of this scholarly attention seems to be justified by a concern about declining levels of civic engagement, low electoral turnout, and other signs of scepticism, cynicism, and lack of trust in politicians and political parties. Additionally, several studies have found evidence that citizens have become increasingly disengaged from the traditional forms of political participation but are interested in alternative forms of political action.

In addition to the extant debates regarding youth’s political engagement there has been some discussion about the validity and reliability of the instruments used in political participation research. For instance, there are academic researchers who argue that instruments need to be refined to capture the full range and methods of young people’s political participation. Some authors have also indicated that there is strong evidence to suggest that political participation is changing, but the changes witnessed are not always adequately explained. Given that these changes need to be addressed to better understand young people’s political engagement patterns, it is essential to develop an instrument to adequately assess this construct (i.e. political engagement) among youth.

Furthermore, the main aim of Ana’s PhD thesis is to advance the field of political participation by developing a new robust psychometric instrument to assess young people’s political engagement that ultimately will help clarify current conceptual debates in the field. This research project also sets out to critically evaluate how the construct of political engagement is currently represented in research and to propose a conceptualisation of youth political engagement, and to critically examine how adequately existing research instruments measure the phenomena of young people’s political engagement.

Along with the research topic of her PhD thesis (the assessment of young people’s political engagement), Ana is also interested on the impact that arts have on young people’s political engagement and participation, and in theatre for social change.

Director of Studies: Prof Matt Henn

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