Youth and Democratic Citizenship in East and South-East Asia: Exploring political attitudes of East and South-East Asian youth through the Asian Barometer Survey
Young people, who comprise approximately half of Asia's population, represent a reservoir of change for better governance, more creative solutions to public policy challenges and innovative approaches to decision making. Based on the data from Asian Barometer Survey (ABS), this study attempted to gauge the potentials of East and South-East Asian youth to become active stakeholders, through examining their sense of involvement and empowerment as democratic citizens, their assessments of institutions and quality of governance, and how they participate in politics, compared with older age groups at both the national and regional levels. Different socio-economic markers are factored into the analyses to examine the variations within the youth cohort. The countries and societies covered in the report include Cambodia, China, Indonesia, Japan, Malaysia, Mongolia, the Philippines, the Republic of Korea, Singapore, Taiwan, Thailand and Viet Nam.
Key findings of the report suggest that in East and South-East Asia, youth have yet to become equal participants in political processes compared to the older cohorts, and have yet to fully realize their potential role as democratic citizens. Recommendations for those engaged in policy-making and programming for engaging youth meaningfully in the political arena include opening up new spaces and opportunities for youth political involvement; developing the requisite skills and competences among young people needed for their effective participation; and enhancing youth-specific research and data analysis with respect to issues of democratic citizenship. The policy entry points suggested in the report should be further developed within the contexts of various societies, ideally in a participatory manner that includes young people themselves.