This page gives some brief and general information about the project.
One of the great challenges of all democracies is to get their citizens involved in the political system. Declining turnout and increasing indifference is haunting old as well as newer democracies.
Obviously, the school is an important arena for equipping younger people with both knowledge and engagement that could benefit the political system. Mock elections is a frequently used pedagogical tool to make the teaching about politics more interesting, and the effect is expected to be increased political awareness and competence among the pupils, and a higher turnout among the first time voters in real elections.
In connection with the parliamentary election in Norway in 1989, all the mock elections at the high school level were nationally co-ordinated for the first time. Since then, mock elections have been arranged prior to all parliamentary and local elections in Norway, also including the referendum about Norwegian membership in the European Union in 1994.
In addition to the mock elections, the project also includes an election survey among the pupils, and a similar survey conducted among a representative sample of the Norwegian population. The data makes it possible to analyse sub-groups of the age-cohort 15-19 year old. Further, it is possible to compare the pupils’ attitudes and values to the general population, and to analyse changes over time.
We will briefly summarise the project in a few central paragraphs:
All data is available online from the website www.samfunnsveven.no:
Samfunnsveven also includes other data resources, such as party manifestoes, data on governments and parliaments. The web-site also contains text with exercises illustrating how the resources could be used to shed light upon social science research problems. The topics aim to be hands on: "In order to adress this problem, you could use this resource. If you select these variables, you will get a table like this. The result could be interpreted ...".