Equalising political participation through upper secondary education?

The aim of this project is to answer how the structure and type of education on the upper secondary level affects political participation.

The relationship between education length and political participation is one of the most well-studied in political science. However, there are much fewer studies on the effects of education type, especially when it comes to upper secondary school where students are usually divided into vocational and academic tracks in Europe. This is a serious shortcoming because it is at this stage people are expected to acquire the ability to discuss political issues.

In the project we will study the effects of different educational tracks on political participation at the upper secondary level. We will also study how specific subjects in the curriculum affect individuals’ political activity. An important part of the project will be to explore whether different educational tracks and programmes may compensate for differences in family resources that tend to have strong effects on the political participation of individuals.

– This project is of large significance since education often is promoted on the grounds that it may equalise differences in political participation, but then we must actually know how education should be structured for it to have such effects. It is also important to study this on the upper secondary level that today in practice forms the basic educational level and where students are expected to learn how to be active citizens, says the principal investigator Marcus Österman.

Principal Investigator: Marcus Österman (Department of Government)

Period: 2020–2022

Funding: SEK 2 946 901 from the Swedish Research Council

Marcus Österman

Researcher at Staff Unions, The Swedish Confederation of Professional Employees; Fackförbundet ST inom universitets- och högskoleområdet, Sektionen vid Uppsala universitet

Researcher at Department of Government, Faculty

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Last modified: 2021-12-14