Commenced in January 2007
Frequency: Monthly
Edition: International
Paper Count: 32451
Analyzing the Participation of Young People in Politics: An Exploratory Study Applied on Motivation in Croatia

Authors: Valentina Piric, Maja Martinovic, Zoran Barac


The application of marketing to the domain of politics has become relevant in recent times. With this article the authors wanted to explore the issue of the current political engagement among young people in Croatia. The question is what makes young people (age 18-30) politically active in young democracies such as that of the Republic of Croatia. Therefore, the objective of this study was to discover the real or hidden motivations behind the decision to actively participate in politics among young members of the two largest political parties in the country – the Croatian Democratic Union and the Social Democratic Party of Croatia. The study expected to find that the motivation for political engagement of young people is often connected with a possible achievement of individual goals and egoistic needs such as: self-acceptance, social success, financial success, prestige, reputation, status, recognition from the others etc. It was also expected that, due to the poor economic and social situation in the country, young people feel an increasing disconnection from politics. Additionally, the authors expected to find that there is a huge potential to engage young people in the political life of the country through a proper and more interactive use of marketing communication campaigns and social media platforms, with an emphasis on highly ethical motives of political activity and their benefits to society. All respondents included in the quantitative survey (sample size [N=100]) are active in one of the two largest political parties in Croatia. The sampling and distribution of the survey occurred in the field in September 2016. The results of the survey demonstrate that in Croatia, the way young people feel about politics and act accordingly, are in fact similar to what the theory describes. The research findings reveal that young people are politically active; however, the challenge is to find a way to motivate even more young people in Croatia to actively participate in the political and democratic processes in the country and to encourage them to see additional benefits out of this practice, not only related to their individual motives, but related more to the well-being of Croatia as a country and of every member of society. The research also discovered a huge potential for political marketing communication possibilities, especially related to interactive social media. It is possible that the social media channels have a stronger influence on the decision-making process among young people when compared to groups of reference. The level of interest in politics among young Croatians varies; some of them are almost indifferent, whilst others express a serious interest in different ways to actively contribute to the political life of the country, defining a participation in the political life of their country almost as their moral obligation. However, additional observations and further research need to be conducted to get a clearer and more precise picture about the interest in politics among young people in Croatia and their social potential.

Keywords: Croatia, marketing communication, motivation, politics, young people.

Digital Object Identifier (DOI):

Procedia APA BibTeX Chicago EndNote Harvard JSON MLA RIS XML ISO 690 PDF Downloads 1069


[1] E. Rainsford, E. “What makes young people politically active? Comparing activists in political parties youth factions, youth councils and at demonstrations, “Research Working Paper presented at PSA Gerneral Conference, Cardiff, Centre for Citizenship Globalisation and Governance, University of Southampton, 2013, pp. 1-25.
[2] Debating Europe, http.//, December 14th, 2015.
[3] E. Fieldhouse, M. Tranmer, A. Russel, “Something About Young People or Something About Elections Electoral Participation of Young People in Europe: Evidence from multilevel analysis of the European Social Survey, European Journal of Political Research,46, 2007, pp. 797-822.
[4] B. Crick, Education for Citizenship and the Teaching of Democracy in Schools, In: Schools, D. F.E.A.D. (ed), London: Qualifications and Curriculum Authority, 1998.
[5] H. Wilkinson, “But will they vote The political attitudes of young people“, Children and Society, 10, 1996, pp. 242-244.
[6] D.M. Reid, „Marketing the Political Product “European Journal of Marketing, Vo. 22, Iss. 9, 1988, pp. 34-37.
[7] D. Wring, “Reconciling marketing with political science theories of political marketing“, Journal of Marketing Management, Vol. 13, 1997, pp. 651-654.
[8] P. Butler, N. Collins, “A conceptual framework for political marketing“ in Newman, B.I. (Ed), Handbook of Political Marketing, Sage, Thousand oaks, CA, 2009, pp. 55-72.
[9] N. O'Shaughnessy, „The marketing of political marketing“ European Journal of Marketing, Vol. 35, No. 9/10, 2001, pp. 1047-1057.
[10] N. Peng,, Ch. Hackley, “Political marketing communication planning in the UK and Taiwan: Comparative insights from leading practitioners” Marketing Intelligence & Planning, Vol.25, No. 5, 2007, pp. 483-498.
[11] C. Hay, “Why we hate politics”, Cambridge, Polity Press, 2007.
[12] H. Haste, A. Hogan, “Beyond conventional civic participation, beyond the moral-political divide: young people and contemporary debates about citizenship“, Journal of Moral Education, 35, 2006, pp. 473-493.
[13] E. Quintelier, “Differences in political participation between young and old people”, Contemporary Politics, Catholic University of Lueven, Vol. 12, No. 2, 2007, pp. 165-180.
[14] V. Pirić, K. Krkač, M. Martinović. “Political Marketing Communications and Possible Contribution of Facebook, Social Networks and the Usage of New Technologies in the Republic of Croatia: A Conceptual Framework for Possible Solving of Political Marketing Communication in Young Democracies Such as Croatia”, Journal of Advancements in Economics, Finance & Accounting, Vol. VI, November 1, 2016, pp. 53-65.
[15] S. Keeter, K. Jenkins, C. Zukin, M. Andolina, “Three Core Measures of Community-based Civic Engagement: Evidence from the Youth Civic Engagement Indicators Project’, Paper presented at the Child Trends Conference on Indicators of Positive Development, Washington, DC,11–12 March, 2003.
[16] T. O’Toole, M. Lister, D. Marsh, S. Jones, A. McDonagh “‘Tuning Out or Left Out? Participation and Non-participation among Young People’, Contemporary Politics, Vol. 9, No. 1, 2003, pp. 45–61.
[17] A. Furnham, A., B. Gunter, ‘Young people’s political knowledge’, Educational Studies, Vol. 13, No. 1, 1987, pp. 91–104.
[18] G. Mardle, M. Taylor, ‘Political knowledge and political ignorance: a reexamination’, Political Quarterly, Vol. 58, 1987, pp. 208–216.
[19] A. Park, ‘Young people and political apathy’ in R. Jowell, J. Curtice, A. Park and K. Thomson (eds) British Social Attitudes, 16th Report. Aldershot: Dartmouth, 1999.
[20] R. Stradling, The Political Awareness of School Leavers. Hansard Society: London, 1977.
[21] M. Banks, P. Ullah, „Political attitudes and voting among unemployed and employed Youth“, Journal of Adolescence, Vol. 10, 1987, pp. 201-216.
[22] A. Park, ‘Teenagers and their politics’, in R. Jowell, J. Curtice, A. Park et al. (eds) British Social Attitudes: 12th Report. Aldershot: Dartmouth, 1995.
[23] H. Wilkinson, G. Mulgan, „Freedom’s children“, Demos Paper, No.17. London: Demos, 1995.
[24] C. White, S. Bruce, J. Ritchie, „Young people's politics: Oilitical interest and engagement amongst 14 – 24 years old“, Joseph Rowntree Foundation, National Centre for Social Research, London, 2000, pp. 1-68.
[25] D. Marsh, T. O'Toole, S. Jones, „Young People and Politics in the UK: Apathy or Alienation?“, Basingstoke, Palgrave Macmillian, 2001.
[26] J. R. Dalton, Citizen Politics, Washington DC, CQ Press, 2008.
[27] P. Norris, Democratic Phoenix, Cambridge, Cambridge University Press, 2004.
[28] C. Pattie, P. Seyd, P. Whiteley, „ Citizenship in Britain: Values, Participation and Democracy“, Cambridge, 2004.
[29] V. Ram, ‘Public Attitudes to Politics, Politicians and Parliament’,Parliamentary Affairs, Vol. 59, No. 1, 2006, pp. 188–97.
[30] A. Sims. „Election 2015: How to encurage young people to vote“, Indepentent, March19th, 2016.
[31] M. Henn, M. Weinstein, D. Wring, „A Generation Apart? Youth and Political participation in Britain“, British Journal of Politics and International Relations, 4, 2002, pp.167-192.
[32] P. Collin, “Policies for youth participation and the development of new political identities.” Refereed Conference Proceedings, National Youth Affairs Conference, Melbourne, Accessed 12th March 2008, 2007.
[33] C. Zukin, S. Keeter, M. Andolina, K. Jenkins, M.X.D. Carpini, A New Engagenment? Political Participation, Civic Life, and the Changing American Citizen, New York, 2006.
[34] M. Gauthier, ‘The Inadequacy of Concepts: The Rise of Youth Interest in Civic Participation in Quebec’, Journal of Youth Studies, Vol. 6, No. 3, 2003, 2003, pp. 265–76.
[35] R. H. Kimberlee, ‘Why Don’t British Young People Vote at General Elections?’, Journal of Youth Studies, Vol. 5, No. 1, 2002, pp. 85–98.
[36] K. Dolan, ‘Attitudes, Behaviours, and the Influence of the Family: A Reexamination of the Role of Family Structure’,Political Behaviour, Vol. 17, No. 3, 1990, pp. 251–64.
[37] M. Hooghe, D. Stolle, P. Stouthuysen, ‘Head Start in Politics: The Recruitment Function of Youth Organizations of Political Parties in Belgium (Flanders)’, Party Politics,Vol. 10, No. 2, 2004, pp. 193–212.
[38] M. Henn, M. Weinstein, S. Forrest, ‘Uninterested Youth? Young People’s Attitudes towards Party Politics in Britain’, Political Studies, Vol. 33, 2003, pp. 556–78.
[39] J. Arvanitakis, S. Marren, “Putting the politics back into Politics: Young people and democracy in Australia: Discussion Paper”, Whitlam Institute, University of Western Sydney, 2009, pp. 1-24.
[40] A. H. Maslow, Motivation and personality, Harper & Row, New York, 99. 1954, pp.80-106.
[41] S. Freud, Uvod u psihoanalizu, Matica Srpska, Beograd, Matica Srpska, 1969.
[42] F. Herzberg, Work and the Nature of Man, Cleveland, 1966.
[43] L. G. Schifmann, L. L. Kanuk, H. Hansen, Consumer Behaviour: A European Outlook, FT Prentice Hall, Harlow, 2008, pp. 105
[44] M. R. Solomon, G. Bamossy, S. Askgaard, M.K. Hogg, Consumer Behaviour: A European Perspective, 4th Edition, FT Prentice Hall, Harlow, 2010, pp. 177.
[45] M. Tuan Pam, T. Avnet, „Ideals and Oughts and the Reliance of Affect versus Substance in Persuasion“, Journal of Consumer Research, March, 2004, pp. 503-19.
[46] R. Bagozzi, R. Dholakia, “Goal setting and goal striving in consumer behaviour”, Journal of Marketing, 63, 1999, pp. 19-23.
[47] J. L. Zaichkowsky, „Measuring the involvement construct in marketing“, Journal of Consumer Research, 12, December, 1985, pp. 341-52.
[48] S. Kruikemeier, G. van Noort, R. Vliegenthart, C. H. de Vreese, „Getting closer; The effects of personalized and interactive online political communication“, European Journal of Communication, 10, 2013.
[49] B. Kalsnes, „The Social Media Explained: Comparing Political Parties' Facebook Strategy Versus Practice“, Social Media + Society, April – June, Vol. 2, No.2, 2016.
[50] J. M. Bernhardt, D. Mays, A. K. Hall, “Social marketing at the right place and right time with new media”, Journal of Social Marketing, Vol. 12, Iss. 2, 2012, pp. 130-137.
[51] A. Bruns, G. Enli, E. Skogerbø, C. Christensen, A. O. Larsson (Eds.) Companion to social media and politics, New York, Routledge, 2016.
[52] R. K. Nielsen, C. Vaccari, “Do people “like” politicians on Facebook? Not really. Large-scale direct candidate-to-voter online communication as an outlier phenomenon”, Journal of Communication, 7, 2013, pp. 2333-2356.
[53] United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs, Population Division, Countrymeter, August 17th, 2016.
[54] CroatiaWeek, Online Magazine, “Number of marriages hit 40-year low”, 2014.
[55] Trading Economics, August 17th, 2016.
[56] Croatian Bureau of Statistics, August 17th, 2016.
[57] Eurostat, August17th, 2016.
[58] N. Radić, “Life is expensive in Croatia – survey shows”, Independent Balkan News Agency, August, 25th, 2013.
[59] European Commission, „Country Report Croatia 2016 Including an In-Depth Review on the prevention and correction of macroeconomic imbalances“, Commission Staff Working Document, Brussells, March, 2016.
[60] Hrvatska demokratska zajednica,, August18th, 2016.
[61] Mladež Hrvatske Demokratske zajednice,, August 18th, 2016.
[62] Socialdemokatska partija Hrvatske,, August 20th, 2016.
[63] G. Stoker, Why Politics Matters, Basingstoke, Palgrave Macmillan, 2006.