Youth Civic Culture, Inequality, and Education in the ex-Communist Countries

Lecture | April 3 | 4-5:30 p.m. | 270 Stephens Hall

 Gabriel Badescu, Professor of Political Science, Babes-Bolyai University, Cluj, Romania

 Institute of Slavic, East European, and Eurasian Studies (ISEEES)

The health of a democracy depends on the support for key political values such as civil rights, as well as the active participation of an informed citizenry. Less than two decades ago, young people in the ex-communist countries were more enthusiastic than the older generations about protecting norms and institutions that have traditionally been regarded as necessary ingredients for democratic governance. Today, the roles have reversed in many of these countries. Using the World Values Survey and PISA cross-national data, Prof. Bădescu investigates the relationships between the rise in income inequality, the outcomes of academic achievement, and civic culture within nine ex-communist European countries. The results of his research indicate that education policies and economic inequality are key determinants in the withdrawal of the younger generation from these key democratic institutions.