ASEF Speaker Series

Dr. Tomaž Deželan: How to Get Young People to Vote?

May 18, 2023 | 7:00 pm | Prešern Hall at SAZU (Novi trg 4, 1000 Ljubljana) and via Zoom

The American Slovenian Education Foundation (ASEF) is organizing a new popular science lecture entitled How to get young people to vote? Challenges of youth participation as part of the ASEF Speaker Series. The lecture will be held by prof. dr. Tomaž Deželan.

The lecture will take place on Thursday, May 18, starting at 7 p.m. in a hybrid version, in the Prešern Hall at SAZU (Novi trg 4, 1000 Ljubljana) and via Zoom. Pre-registration for the lecture must be done by May 18 at 6 p.m. at the latest. When registering for the event, the type of participation is selected (at the location or via Zoom). All registered participants via Zoom will receive a Zoom link to their email address before the event.


Voter turnout – one of the most important forms of political participation – has been declining since the 1950s, posing a major challenge to democracies around the world. Various studies consistently show alarmingly low youth voter turnout at different levels and in different regions and countries. Studies focusing specifically on the European Union (EU) reveal a shocking state of electoral abstinence in EU member states, especially among the youngest cohorts of eligible voters, where abstinence in European elections is over 70 percent. In addition, the gap between young and older voters in the democratic world has grown significantly, which indicates the problem of low political participation of young people not only in elections, but also in institutional politics in general. Studies show that today’s youth participate less in institutional politics not only compared to other age groups, but also compared to youth cohorts of the past, which actually calls for immediate action. The lecture will address the causes, but above all the possible ways of addressing the problem.


Prof. dr. Tomaž Deželan is a full professor at the Faculty of Social Sciences and a researcher at the Center for Political Science Research (CPR). He worked as an associate researcher at the University of Edinburgh, School of Law. He is also a research partner of the Slovenian National Agency Erasmus+ Youth in Action (a member of the RAY group) and a political consultant for the political participation of young people of the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE), the European Youth Forum (EYF) and the International Organization IDEA. His research deals with classical and modern concepts of citizenship, electoral studies, political participation, cohesion of parliamentary/political groups in legislative bodies, political parties and party systems at the national and transnational level, migration studies and gender equality in politics.

ASEF connects scientists and academics all over the world.

The ASEF Speaker Series project is made possible with the financial support of the Government Office for Slovenians Abroad and the Office of the Republic of Slovenia for Youth.

ASEF Speaker Series