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Senior citizens and political participation – evidence from a Finnish regional study



The aim is to analyse political participation among senior citizens in the West-Finnish region Österbotten/Pohjanmaa by using data from the 2005 GERDA (gerontological regional database) survey. The first research question related to patterns of political participation and the extent to which older people in this region engage in voting and non-institutionalised forms of participation. Secondly, the driving forces behind different dimensions of participation were assessed on an individual level by using a modified variant of the civic voluntarism model as suggested by Verba and colleagues. The results show a high propensity to vote among elders in this region, but they also suggest that so-called non-institutionalised participation is likely to become more common in the future. Moreover, even though the results support the so-called resource theory of political participation, the fit of the multivariate models were modest, which necessitates further research in order to understand fully the driving forces behind political participation of older people in this specific region.


Corresponding author

Address for correspondence: Mikael Nygård, Department of Social Sciences, Åbo Akademi University, PB 311, 65101 VASA, Finland. E-mail:


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Senior citizens and political participation – evidence from a Finnish regional study



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