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Right Winger Voters: Political Behavior of Young-Adults in Israel

Conducted by:

Dr. Irit Adler, Dr. Noa Lavie /  School of Government and Society

It has been claimed, in recent decades, that young-adults, between the ages of 18-29, have a much smaller turn out, regarding voting, than older generations, in Western democracies. Recent studies in Israel have shown that this trend is also evident in Israel. This and more, Israeli young-adults also show less democratic orientation than their counterparts in other Western democracies.

For example, recent studies show that young American adults show liberal orientations in higher percentages than the older generations in the United-States. This orientations fits Geoffrey Arnetts’ claim that young adults, who were born after 1980, are predicted to articulate liberal political views and contempt towards traditional politics. These young people are supposed to continue their adolescence period into a longer period of emerging adulthood and be more open minded towards changed in society and politics in particular. However, Arnetts’ theory was criticized as being Anglo-American originated and there for not completely fitting in explaining non-Anglo-American societies such as Israel.

In light of the above, it is our aim to study political orientation and behavior of Israeli young-adults. Our study is based on the ESS (European Social Survey). We studied the political behavior and orientation of 18-29 year olds (young adults) in the year 2008 and 2016. Our study shows that Israeli young-adults show a high amount of disbelieve in the Israeli political system. However, they vote in relatively high percentage. This and more, in contrast to the overall global tendency, the voting percentage of young-adults is rising in recent years. As for political believes, the Israeli young-adult is more right wing and religious than other countries in the survey.

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