What Causes Political Apathy?

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Political apathy can stem from several causes including people having little knowledge or understanding of politics and government, and failing to understand the importance their actions have for the benefit of the larger society. Political apathy occurs in countries around the world, and is more widespread in some areas than others. In some places, political apathy is a chronic issue that impedes the development of the affected countries, while in other places, apathy occurs as the result of a sudden change in government.

Political apathy is considered the indifference of citizens to political activities that affect or could affect their lives. Political apathy exists on the local level of government, as well as at the state and national levels. At these levels political apathy is often a product of the surrounding political culture. Political culture refers to the general sentiment of the population to the controlling government.

In some places, citizens are supportive of their government and feel that they benefit from the actions of governmental officials, which in turn leads to more enthusiasm for political engagement. Other times, people see no benefit for them in actions taken by government officials. Political apathy affects many age groups, but is common in the United States among youth. Children may feel their representatives are motivated by selfish reasons, may feel isolated from political messages and believe their interests are not addressed by politicians.