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Title: Young Voters' and Participatory Politics: Performing Democracy and Active Citizenship in Singapore's General Election 2011
Authors: Koh Yong Ming, Terence
Keywords: active citizenship, democracy, electoral geography, political agency, participatory politics, young voters/youths
Issue Date: 2015
Citation: Koh Yong Ming, Terence (2015). Young Voters' and Participatory Politics: Performing Democracy and Active Citizenship in Singapore's General Election 2011. ScholarBank@NUS Repository.
Abstract: Building on geographers’ recent interest in issues of agency related to youths/young people, this thesis is drawn towards the political participation of young voters in electoral politics. This thesis moves beyond electoral geographical research grounded in voting patterns and outcomes analysis, towards an examination of ‘informal’ online engagements in participatory politics (the acquisition of political information and/or engaging in political discussions) and the implications on democratic and citizenship development. By examining young voters (aged 21 to 35), ‘informal’ political engagements on the Internet during Singapore’s 2011 General Elections, this thesis seeks to illustrate how young voters articulate their responsibilities as active citizens of the state through their democratic participation in the political matters of Singapore beyond voting practices in the ‘real world’. Concepts such as political agency, democracy and active citizenship will be used to structure the development of this research. My findings have important significance to understand how young voters’ ‘informal’ political engagements have distinct implications on their understandings and interpretations of issues to do with democracy and citizenship. By emphasising on the recursive relationship between online and offline spaces, this thesis argues that young voters’ online political agency are shaped by broader socio-political structures and norms in Singapore. This in turn accounts for the multiple ways in which young Singaporeans engage in virtual politics, as well as the differentiated outcomes in the production (and disruption) of meanings of active citizenship and productive democracy. The empirical case-study illustrates that electoral research need to be more attentive to the non-voting dimensions of electoral spaces in relation to wider socio-political norms and structures so as to ground a nuanced investigation of contemporary electoral geography in citizenship and democratic development.
Appears in Collections:Bachelor's Theses

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