This book compares the current status of democracy in selected Eastern European countries. The focus is on young people’s attitudes towards and experiences of democracy, including active political engagement. In many of these countries, democracy has been hard-won and may well need to be defended again in the future. The contributors collectively reflect on young adults exercising their civic rights and how they can influence the political system at both formal and informal levels.
The chapters present different issues that arise in unique contexts but overall reflect the changing status of democracy and its effects on young people’s citizenship activity and education. The volume compares perspectives of three groups of Eastern European countries with different traditions and past histories of democracy and citizenship: Central European countries (Poland, Czech, Hungary); Baltic countries (Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia); and post-soviet republics (Ukraine, Moldova). These countries differ in the status given to democracy, citizenship action traditions and education. At the same time, many countries have experienced recent turbulence related to democracy and different kinds of actions by young people. Comparing them leads to conclusions about omissions made in current citizenship education provision and what needs to be done for a better understanding of the needs of citizenship education in these difficult times.
This volume will be of interest to students and scholars in citizenship and civic education, sociology, political science and Eastern European Studies.
1. De-Europeanization, populism and illiberalism: Young people and democracy in Central and Eastern Europe
Beata Krzywosz-Rynkiewicz and Kerry J. Kennedy
Section 1: Democracy Status and Citizenship Engagement – Research Methods and Results
2. Measuring the status of democracy and citizenship activity: Survey development and trialing
3. Young people’s citizenship activity and perceptions of democracy status in Central-Eastern Europe: Sample selection and data analysis
Beata Krzywosz-Rynkiewicz and Katinka Dancs
Section 2: Young People's Citizenship Engagement in Central and Eastern Europe
4. Do young people still need democracy in Poland? – Revisiting the question 30 years later
5. After 30 transitional years of democracy – How do young people participate in society and evaluate democracy in Hungary?
Katinka Dancs and László Kinyó
6. Citizenship activity and democracy perception among young Czechs whose parents ‘jingled keys’ during the ‘Velvet Revolution’
7. Descriptive analysis of Estonian young adults’ evaluation of democracy and citizenship engagement
8. Young people in Latvia – Forgotten humanism in citizenship development
Sandra Rone and Mara Vidnere
9. The workdays and weekends of democracy in Lithuanian young adults’ calendar
Vaiva Zuzevičiūtė and Beata Krzywosz-Rynkiewicz
10. Citizenship activity of young Ukrainians – Democracy and human rights challenges
Irina Bondarevskaya, Kateryna Bondar and Beata Krzywosz-Rynkiewicz
Section 3: Framing the Future
11. Young people’s citizenship activity and education in the face of democracy’s retreat: What lessons have been learned from Central and Eastern Europe?
12. Democracy’s future in Central and Eastern Europe – Building coalitions, enhancing agency
Kerry J. Kennedy