The authors of the papers suggest the hypothesis that the level of national identity influences electoral participation of the citizens. Due to the substantial potential of young people in the state-building and reformation processes, special attention is paid to this age group. The authors start with the assumption that the high level of national identity can spawn interest in the future of one’s nation and, consequently, stimulate electoral participation and, at the same time, facilitate the decrease in the level of absenteeism and electoral volatility. Being an element of national self-consciousness, through realization of one’s role in the country’s political life, national identity strengthens the person’s conviction about the importance of their contribution to the cause, which is common for their national group.
The paper includes a detailed research into Ukrainian youth’s interestedness and engagement in the political life. The overview of the results of sociological research and psychological studies has revealed a particular ambivalence – a typical young person is seemingly proud of being Ukrainian and defines their own level of national identity as rather high yet they are not ready to actively exercise good citizenship. The analysis of previous studies has proven that the insufficient level of political awareness and inconsistent national policy of the state are among the key factors in it.
The authors arrive at a conclusion that despite the fact that the youth is commonly seen as a forceful agent of changes, especially in the context of democratization in post-communist countries like Ukraine, their actual ability to produce social and political changes is somewhat ambiguous. Apart from the reasons like poor political awareness, distrust in the authorities, peripheral way of receiving political information, pseudorational behavior, and overall loss of interest in political life of the country, the degree of national identity preconditions such electoral passivity. It is the level of perception of political information where a high degree of national identity facilitates analysis, evaluation, critical comprehension and understanding of this material, and, subsequently, becomes a factor of rational political behavior of the youth.
Keywords: electoral participation, national identity, national policy, national self-consciousness, youth.