About the project

One of the most characteristic traits of a democratic system is promoting the idea of a participating society, in which citizens collectively make decisions related to the functioning of their country. It is a society of politically empowered citizens, charged with laws, competences and responsibilities able to shape political decisions, is what constitutes a key element of an effectively functioning democracy.

The aim of our project is to apply knowledge from the field of social, as well as political psychology, in order to solve one of the fundamental problems which the Polish society is facing today – the low level of citizen participation on the part of young adults. The causes of young Poles’ reluctance to engage in civic participation is not an obvious matter. What is more, we lack methods which could effectively encourage this group to do it. Carrying out our project will allow to fill the gaps in this field by analysing empirical data. As part of the project we will conduct a series of quantitative and qualitative research aimed at diagnosing this problem in detail. Next, we will test specific strategies designed to produce an increase in the young Poles’ willingness to participate in civic life. We will suggest innovative solutions (i.e. interactive ways of acquiring knowledge: internet quizzes, a board game), which will allow to learn through play and at the same time will be perfectly fitted to the target group.

Solutions developed in the course of the project will be useful for:

  1. educators and teachers committed to transmitting knowledge from the field of civic education,
  2. NGOs supporting citizen participation,
  3. social researchers.

These solutions could be adapted to the conditions existing in other countries tackling the problem of the weakening of the democratic system.

Funding

The following project, entitled “Citizen participation in Poland: determinants, consequences and methods of increasing social activism”, is carried out as part of the Dialogue grant awarded by the Ministry of Science and Higher Education.

Contact

Institute of Psychology,
Polish Academy of Sciences
Jaracza 1
00-378 Warsaw, Poland

Marta Marchlewska PhD
mail: mmarchlewska(at)psych.pan.pl