If you were told that over half of young people in the United Kingdom would prefer to live under a dictatorship, what year would you say this data was drawn from?

It might shock you to learn that the survey was conducted in 2022 rather than 1922.

This is the extent to which frustration has harbored among many young people who have grown disenfranchised with democracy. Those who see only a widening disconnect between the priorities of current leaders and their own.

Young people are increasingly viewing the efforts of global leaders as incapable of turning the dial on the issues that mean the most to them, notably the climate crisis, economic insecurity, mental wellbeing and social inequality.

This is a generation set to inherit a world where climate change nears a point of no return, where inequality is skyrocketing and mental health plummeting globally. Inaction — or at least insufficient action — is driving a cohort of voters away from democracy.

With almost half of the world's population voting in 2024, how can we restore faith in a system that has failed young people and their concerns?

Better engagement with the issues that mean the most to young people

Young people are often overlooked in political processes. For example, 60 percent of Africa’s population is aged under 25, but the median age of its leaders is 62, according to the nonpartisan research nonprofit the Brookings Institution. If politicians want young people to engage, they need to engage with the issues that matter to them.

Empower the next generation of young leaders to secure democracy

Whilst those currently in power need to listen to the concerns of young people, the security of democracy depends upon the next generation of leadership. It is imperative that we cultivate strong, ethical and self-aware leaders that are equipped to face the challenges of rising authoritarianism.

Create forums for collaboration

As the world becomes increasingly more polarized, and young people continue to become more skeptical and more detached from society, the importance of creating community is clearer than ever. We face some of our most global and existential challenges, from climate change to rampant inequality. If we are to effectively tackle these issues, we must work together.

Read the full article about young people's faith in democracy by Ella Robertson McKay at Triple Pundit.