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Political Apathy And Disenchantment

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The ever growing effects of political disenchantment are more than evident upon analysing the attitudes of populism alongside the dangers of apathy within modern society. Evidently within the youth, the underlying consensus of apathy displays distinctly, attitudes towards voting that pose a threat to equal representation under a democratic system. Whereas one may also assess further disenchantment arisen from the extant stigma against democratic politicians as liars, the lack of public confidence condemning them whilst encouraging apathy towards politics to a foreseeable downfall of democracy. Alternatively one may also explore the view of political disenchantment posing no threat toward democracy, due to increasing political engagement, specifically within the UK following the Brexit Referendum.

An undeniable contention of 33 percent of British citizens exists that politicians put personal interests ahead of the national interests their vocation pursues. Whilst this may lay evident of political disenchantment, it is countered by British political scientist, Gerry Stoker. Within his book “Why Politics Matters” Stoker explores the extent by which sustained growth within many countries has correlates with an increasing lack of confidence in individual politicians and entire political systems that have thus gained reputations for economic incompetence. Emulating the fact that there is in fact no evidence for corruption amongst politicians with the exception of minor expense scandals of the 2000s. Stoker emphasizes that there is a severe lack of connection within democratic nations, between economic failure and public disaffection for politics and it’s workers as is generally feared by commentators of African and Latin American societies alike. Therefore ultimately Stoker’s contention is that the future and safety of democracy is unaffected by political disenchantment but rather by other means instead. This view challenged by Peter Oborne whom constitutes that the decay of selflessness within British politicians is an immoral enemy of democracy, “The general sense of redoubtable honesty that was such an enviable element of British government has generally vanished” surmising that we must morally sanitise democratic politics if it has any hope of surviving.

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Furthermore, the apathy of political disenchantment is further evidenced by the declining voter turnout: OECD 1970-2005 8% average decline. The relative voter turnout relatively decreases each year most prominently amongst youth voters. While 90% of over 65 year olds turned out, only 64% of 18-24 year-olds voted in the June 2016 Brexit Referendum in close relation to the fact that over 70% of 18-24 year-olds voted Remain, while just under 30% opted to vote Leave. Thus allowing one to estimate a dramatic change in result had there been an increased level of mobility within the youth population. Brexit exempt, one may further attribute this decline in voter turnout may be affected by relates further to the decline in the strength of party identification amongst youths of 18-24 years. In 1983, 85 percent of the same age group identified with a particular political party compared with 66 percent of those in their 20s or early 30s today, arguably as a result of the fact there is less specific class appeal to most political parties today. It is needless for one to clarify the catastrophic extent to which a continually declining voter turnout may mean for the future of a democratic nation in relation to equal representation of citizens.

Alternatively, evidence for an increase in political interest is also evident and thus diminishes the argument of any disenchantment posing a threat to the future of democracy. There has been a 28% surge in applications to politics courses since the lead up to the EU Referendum. Moreover, this surge in further relation to the narrowing ‘political interest gap’ that exists between the 52% of those with a degree or higher education interested in politics, compared with 24% of those with no qualification; determines that in lieu of political disenchantment, it may instead be the growing apathy that inherently is found attached to the age of distraction we understand to be the modern world. Through more encompassing education, any threat to democracy may be challenged. Democracy itself still maintaining an overwhelming level of support, the disaffection bearing mostly towards its representatives and practice. Therefore the critical nature of the British public comes into question as the true estimate of why growing political disenchantment exists in Britain. It can be attributed that in actuality we now possess higher expectations of government despite the lack of austerity in relation to the most recent generations.

To conclude, one may assess that political disenchantment is a growing phenomenon in action, without one specific but rather various discernable causes. A key factor being an increasing lack of confidence within modern politicians, whom are considered disreputable by the general public, despite (in the UK) living in the highest level of prosperity society has yet to see . As such, G. Stoker considers this view highly lacking as a genuine reason for the increase in political disenchantment, to the dismay of P. Oborne’s argument that politicians today exhibit abhorrent and deceitful behaviour that engages the populist consensus that those in government are centred upon self-interest in a regime of ‘politics-as-usual’, despite an irrefutable lack of evidence of corruption within parliament to truly place our democratic society at risk. Contrarily there is certainly an abundance of evidence through statistics, that displays the effects of a particular disengagement amongst youth citizens. The recent increase that contrasts this can be attributed to the 2016 European Referendum result that has engulfed most political headlines since. However a more educated generation may win the battle for democracy for the foreseeable future. The contention of a severe lack in political identification may further be attributed to the apathy and lack of all encompassing education of politics that also ties as reason for the recent incline in general interest. Therefore overall one may deduce there is an unstable safety attributed to the future of democracy within the nation, however that may change should the advance of political disaffection evolve towards pure ignorance and apathy or rather even more concerning; the prospect of anti-politics.

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Political Apathy And Disenchantment. (2022, February 17). Edubirdie. Retrieved February 8, 2023, from
“Political Apathy And Disenchantment.” Edubirdie, 17 Feb. 2022,
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Political Apathy And Disenchantment [Internet]. Edubirdie. 2022 Feb 17 [cited 2023 Feb 8]. Available from:
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