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 Featured Title
Citizens Adrift
The Democratic Disengagement of Young Canadians
Paul Howe  

$97.00 Hardcover
Release Date: 12/9/2010
ISBN: 9780774818759    

$36.95 Paperback
Release Date: 4/21/2011
ISBN: 9780774818766    

360 Pages


About the Book

Winner, 2011 Donald Smiley Prize, Canadian Political Science Association

Many political observers, struck by low turnout rates among young voters, are pessimistic about the future of democracy in Canada and other Western nations. Citizens in general are disengaged from politics, and young people in particular are said to be adrift in a sea of apathy. Building on these observations, Paul Howe examines patterns of participation and engagement from both the past and present, concluding that young Canadians are, in fact, increasingly detached from the political and civic life of the country. Two key trends underlie this development: waning political knowledge and attentiveness and generational changes in the norms and values that sustain social integration. As Citizens Adrift shows, putting young people back on the path towards engaged citizenship requires a holistic approach, one which acknowledges that democratic engagement extends beyond the realm of formal politics.

About the Author(s)

Paul Howe is a professor of political science at the University of New Brunswick, Fredericton.

Table of Contents


Part 1: Setting the Stage
1 Democratic Participation in Canada
2 The Wellsprings of Disengagement

Part 2: Political Attentiveness
3 The Evolution of Political Attentiveness: A Six-Country Comparison
4 Political Attentiveness in Canada: The Current Landscape
5 Political Knowledge and Canadian Democracy

Part 3: Social Integration
6 Community Attachments
7 Ascendant Individualism
8 Social Integration and Political Engagement

Part 4: Looking Back, Looking Forward
9 Political Culture in the Age of Adolescence
10 Engendering Engagement among Young Canadians: A Holistic Approach

Works Cited
Data References


"Citizens Adrift is well researched and nicely written, demonstrating with clear, understandable figures just how large the gap between generations of Canadians is. More succinctly than most books that identify the problem of youthful disengagement, Paul Howe’s suggests realistic solutions."
-- Richard G. Niemi, co-author/editor of Controversies in Voting Behavior

"Citizens Adrift is certain to draw considerable attention as it makes a compelling contribution to the discussion of the health of Canadian democracy. In his discussion of social integration, Howe advances some particularly novel ideas."
-- William Cross, editor of Auditing Canadian Democracy

"In Citizens Adrift, Paul Howe explores a problem that every political scientist in Canada has to be thinking about: Why are younger people less interested in politics than their elders? Howe comes to the topic with an open mind, an infectious enthusiasm, and an impressive toolkit. Drawing on the research of others, generating new data of his own, and comparing Canadian results with similar countries, he examines the issue of disengagement from a number of fascinating angles. His diagnosis is at once wise, persuasive, and troubling; his prescriptions are realistic and achievable. Citizens Adrift is a model of political science that deserves a place on every scholar’s reference table not just because it is accessible and intelligent, but because it will inform reflection and discussion both in class and, one hopes, on the street."
-- CPSA Prize Jury

Sample Chapter

Front Matter and Introduction [PDF]

Related Topics

Political Science
Public Policy

Other Ways To Order

In Canada, order your copy of Citizens Adrift from UTP Distribution at:

UTP Distribution
5201 Dufferin Street
Toronto, Ontario
M3H 5T8

Phone orders: 1(800)565-9523 or (416)667-7791
Fax orders: 1(800)221-9985 or (416)667-7832

Ordering information for customers outside Canada

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