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Issue № 67. April 2018

Counteracting the Growth of Youth Involvement in Radical Political Protest (On the Materials of the 2017 Mass Demonstrations)

Nikolai A. Ponomarev, Sergey I. Belov, Anton A. Mailis

Nikolai A. Ponomarev — Ph.D., expert, Autonomous non-profit organization “Center for Applied Research and Programs”, Moscow, Russian Federation.
E-mail: sharukin87@yandex.ru

Sergey I. Belov — Ph.D., expert, Expert and Analytical Center of Russian Presidential Academy of National Economy and Public Administration under the President of the Russian Federation, Moscow, Russian Federation.
E-mail: belov2006s@yandex.ru

Anton A. Mailis — graduate student, Moscow State University of Education, Moscow, Russian Federation.
E-mail: maylis.anton@gmail.com

The article is devoted to the study of the factors causing the increase of youth involvement in a radical political protest. The purpose of the article is to identify the reasons for the increased involvement of young people in mass protests and the development of a set of proposals that can reduce the attractiveness of political radicals for the younger generation. The methodological basis of the study includes the traditional analysis, secondary processing of published sociological data and expert interview. It was found that the growing involvement of young people in radical political protest was caused by the limited social experience of young people, the propaganda of prestigious consumption, the growing demand for justice, the lack of a strong symbolic base for national identity, the image of the future and, in general, a full political mythology. An important role is also played by the prevalence of the unconventional opposition in the field of social media and the harsh reaction of local authorities to the participation of young people in unauthorized protests. In 2017, only the actualization of previously known factors occurred under the influence of the changed socio-political conjuncture. A key role in increasing the willingness of young people to join unauthorized protests was the approach to the threshold of adulthood of the generation of citizens born at the beginning of the “successful 2000s”, combined with the absence of a corresponding number of high-paying jobs in the labor market, the reorientation of some non-systemic opposition leaders to youth as the main target segment audience and the growing importance of social media. The program of measures designed to stop the growth of youth involvement in a radical political protest includes the allocation of quotas in the structure of government bodies, public organizations and political parties that are replenished exclusively by representatives of young people, the denial of the advantage of being admitted to the civil service for persons who served in the Armed Forces , and a number of other measures.

Keywords

Political protest, protest actions, unconventional opposition, radical opposition, youth, youth policy, identity, social media.

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