The withdrawal of young Americans from electoral politics has been as startling as it has been mystifying. Possible explanations for this phenomenon have focused on increased levels of cynicism and distrust among young voters, the behavior of candidates and campaign consultants, and the importance of institutional barriers to voting. Then came the 2004 election, when nearly 47 percent of eligible 18-to-24-year-olds turned out to vote-an 11 percent increase over 2000 levels. In the wake of this surprising development, Fountain of Youth looks at the tactics and strategies for youth mobilization-from improved civic education to recasting the theme of "Rock the Vote" to reinvigorating political parties. Indeed, the book includes new and innovative research on the role of local political parties in registering and getting young voters to the polls. This volume will be of interest to scholars, teachers, practitioners, pundits-in short, anyone concerned about the future of our democracy.
Daniel M. Shea is professor of political science and director of the Center for Political Participation at Allegheny College. John C. Green is Distinguished Professor of Political Science and director of the Roy C. Bliss Institute for Applied Politics at the University of Akron.
Part 1 Background on Youth Participation in America Chapter 2 The Turned Off Generation? Fact and Fiction Part 3 Political Parties and Mobilization of Young Voters Chapter 4 Throwing a Better Party? Local Political Parties and Youth Vote Chapter 5 Tales from the Trenches: Party Organizations that Are Connecting with Young Citizens Chapter 6 Building Party Identification in the Young and Revitalizing Democracy Part 7 Civic Education and Youth Engagement: Past, Present, and Future Chapter 8 Civic Knowledge, Civic Education, and Civic Engagement Chapter 9 Political Participation and Service-Learning: Civic Education as Problem and Solution Chapter 10 Promoting Diversity in Democracy: Mobilizing the Hip Hop Generation Part 11 Non-Partisan Organizations and Turning out the Youth Vote Chapter 12 Youth Political Engagement: Why Rock the Vote Hits the Wrong Note Chapter 13 Mobilizing the Youth Vote in 2004 and Beyond Chapter 14 Young Voter Mobilization Projects in 2004 Part 15 Conclusion Chapter 16 Faces of the Future