Eppur si Muove! Young People, Issue Salience and Volatility in Nine European Countries Articles uri icon

publication date

  • January 2023

start page

  • 1

end page

  • 22

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

  • 0017-257X


  • Political participation and party attachment in Western democracies have become more and more volatile. In turn, political campaigns seem increasingly dependent on short-term discursive windows of opportunity opened by dynamic debates on issues such as migration, climate, employment and economic policies. Based on panel data from nine European countries, we investigate how patterns and changes in the materialist and postmaterialist concerns of respondents affect electoral turnout and party switching. By relating these variables, we aim to uncover whether and to what extent underlying concerns – and thus short-term politicization – account for short-term patterns of electoral volatility. We pay special attention to young respondents, who are often framed as being particularly dynamic and less bound to traditional political loyalties. Our findings offer insights into short-term change in discursive opportunities for political mobilization and broader democratic engagement.


  • occupational choice; informality; financial frictions; public finance