Engaging the Millennials: The Citizens' Initiative in Finland

Janette Huttunen & Henrik Serup Christensen



Millennials’ disengagement from institutionalized politics has been a cause for concern among scholars and pundits. Consequently, there is an increased interest in possibilities to mobilize them through new participatory mechanisms, but the results are still unclear. We contribute to this research agenda by examining whether the Finnish citizens’ initiative mobilized the millennial generation with data from the Finnish National Election Survey from 2015 (FNES2015). Furthermore, we use the civic voluntarism model (CVM) to explore what factors explain the involvement of millennials in supporting citizens’ initiatives to determine whether users differ from non-users and whether CVM works differently for millennials as compared to the general population. Our results show that millennials are frequent users of the initiative. We find few significant differences between millennial users and non-users, suggesting that using the citizens’ initiative is egalitarian among millennials. We also find no evidence that the CVM model works differently for millennials.

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