Lowering the Voting Age to 16

Learning from Real Experiences Worldwide

  • Jan Eichhorn
  • Johannes Bergh

Part of the Palgrave Studies in Young People and Politics book series (PSYPP)

Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages i-xvi
  2. Johannes Bergh, Jan Eichhorn
    Pages 1-12
  3. Andrew Mycock, Thomas Loughran, Jonathan Tonge
    Pages 43-63
  4. Julian Aichholzer, Sylvia Kritzinger
    Pages 81-101
  5. Christine Huebner, Jan Eichhorn
    Pages 121-142
  6. Arndt Leininger, Thorsten Faas
    Pages 143-166
  7. Guro Ødegård, Johannes Bergh, Jo Saglie
    Pages 189-210
  8. Jan Eichhorn, Johannes Bergh
    Pages 231-241
  9. Back Matter
    Pages 243-245

About this book


‘I very much appreciate this volume, because so far there is very little theoretical literature on the urgent topic of earlier enfranchisement. The editors have succeeded in presenting an internationally comparative analysis for the first time.’

–Prof Klaus Hurrelmann, Hertie School of Governance, Germany

‘This is a well-informed and well-balanced collection of concrete case studies from around the world about lowering the voting age. In a comprehensive way, it takes forward our understanding of the multiple issues at stake regarding votes at 16 and often sidelined young citizens.’

–Dr Sarah Pickard, Université Sorbonne Nouvelle, France

‘This is a much needed volume on a topic that is widely discussed both in public and in academia. The book gives an excellent and internationally comparative overview of theoretical arguments and empirical evidence for and against lowering the voting age.’

–Prof Simone Abendschön, University of Giessen, Germany

This book explores the consequences of lowering the voting age to 16 from a global perspective, bringing together empirical research from countries where at least some 16-year-olds are able to vote. With the aim to show what really happens when younger people can take part in elections, the authors engage with the key debates on earlier enfranchisement and examine the lead-up to and impact of changes to the voting age in countries across the globe. The book provides the most comprehensive synthesis on this topic, including detailed case studies and broad comparative analyses. It summarizes whatcan be said about youth political participation and attitudes, and highlights where further research is needed. The findings will be of great interest to researchers working in youth political socialization and engagement, as well as to policymakers, youth workers and activists.

Jan Eichhorn is Senior Lecturer in Social Policy at the University of Edinburgh, UK, and Research Director of the Berlin-based think tank d|part. His research focuses on political participation and attitudes with a particular emphasis on young people.

Johannes Bergh is Head of the Norwegian National Election Studies Program. He has led two research projects that studied the Norwegian trials with voting at 16. His research focuses on political behavior generally, but especially that of young people.


political participation youth engagement youth participation lower voting age civic engagement Latin American politics European politics North American politics voting age debate political engagement of young people civic education democratic citizenship enfranchisement attitudes and voting representation voter turnout

Editors and affiliations

  • Jan Eichhorn
    • 1
  • Johannes Bergh
    • 2
  1. 1.Social PolicyUniversity of EdinburghEdinburghUK
  2. 2.Institute for Social ResearchOsloNorway

Bibliographic information