Teaching Comparative Government and Politics

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Alienation and political culture

Political, social, and economic alienation threaten the basic political culture in the UK and other EU countries. What happens politically if a quarter of the adult population is unemployable?

For London Youth, Down and Out Is Way of Life
For almost two years, Nicki Edwards has been looking for work — any type of work.

She is 19 years old, well-spoken and self-possessed. But like many young people in Britain, she could not afford to remain at her university, making it impossible to find a job…

Perhaps the most debilitating consequence of the euro zone’s economic downturn and its debt-driven austerity crusade has been the soaring rate of youth unemployment. Spain’s jobless rate for people ages 16 to 24 is approaching 50 percent. Greece’s is 48 percent, and Portugal’s and Italy’s, 30 percent. Here in Britain, the rate is 22.3 percent, the highest since such data began being collected in 1992. (The comparable rate for Americans is 18 percent.)

The lack of opportunity is feeding a mounting alienation and anger among young people across Europe — animus that threatens to poison the aspirations of a generation and has already served as a wellspring for a number of violent protests in European cities from Athens to London. And new economic data on Wednesday, showing much of Europe in the doldrums or recession, does little to bolster hopes for a better jobs picture anytime soon…

While youth unemployment has long been a chronic issue here, experts say the British government’s debt-reduction commitment to rein in social spending appears to be making the problem worse, experts say. Insufficient job training and apprenticeship programs, they argue, contribute to the large pool of permanently unemployed young people in Britain…

Teaching Comparative blog entries are indexed.

The Fourth Edition of What You Need to Know is available from the publisher (where shipping is always FREE).

The First Edition of What You Need to Know: Teaching Tools is now available from the publisher

Labels: , ,

0 Comments:

Post a Comment

Links to this post:

Create a Link

<< Home