Surveying the attitudes and behaviour of youth across Eastern Europe

Project coordination: Dr. Félix Krawatzek and Prof. Dr. Gwendolyn Sasse

Based on a number of online surveys conducted across Eastern Europe, this project taps into the attitudes and behaviour of a generation that remains poorly understood. Through these surveys we identify the larger patterns of how young people perceive the political and social worlds they inhabit, how they identify with their countries’ pasts and what aspirations they have for their own futures. The first two surveys cover the Russian Federation (April 2018/April 2019) and are conducted among young(er) people aged 16 to 34 in fifteen regional capitals. Youth plays an important role in the official discourse of the Russian government and has been shown to be loyal to the regime and to identify with conservative values. But young people have also been very visible in the protests in 2017/18, in particular the anti-corruption protest movement around Alexei Navalny. This tension within the young generation is not unique to Russia. Through a series of surveys across a range of countries (e.g. Belarus, Latvia, Poland), this project wishes to gain a deeper understanding of the features that explain the diversity of views among the young. We probe a range of different issues, such as the level of political interest, knowledge and public engagement of young people, their sources of information, personal networks, expectations, trust and values. The online questionnaires combine novel survey techniques, including factual and picture quizzes as well as vignette and list experiments.