Young people in Croatia show distrust in political institutions and the media as well as a low interest in politics and elections, seeing democracy in Croatia as false, according to the findings of a survey on young people, media and democracy presented on Thursday.
The survey was conducted among Zagreb Faculty of Political Science students aged 18-29 from 1995 to 2020. The findings show the perception and engagement of young people regarding political topics.
The findings provide “a depressing and static” temporal perspective, said Kosta Bovan, a professor at the school.
They show a constant “low satisfaction” with democracy in Croatia and an increasingly big distrust in political institutions and the media.
The survey also examined students’ political knowledge and the percentage of correct answers from 2012 to 2020 was on “a stable decline.” Interest in politics elections was also low, with certain jumps in 1999 and 2020.
The survey included interviews with 24 people aged 18-29 from cities of Zagreb, Split, Rijeka, Vodnjan, Pula, Osijek, and Varazdin about political terms and ideas.
Asked how they understood democracy, the survey shows they have a narrow understanding of it, associating it almost solely with elections and citizens’ oversight of politicians.
Respondents had a positive stand on democracy as a system, but took issue with the negative sides of democracy in Croatia which, Bovan said, “they see… as a corrupted democracy and a false democracy.”