The World’s Youngest Democracy


Countries around the world are dealing with a fundamental demographic shift as the youth bubble continues to bulge. As the Arab Spring has demonstrated, young people can be energized, organized, and hungry for change.  No longer content to wait on a future that might never come, youth are demanding to make their voices and ideas heard. But sometimes, they need just a little help to the stage.

CIPE’s Youth Essay contest was established to provide a platform for those nascent advocates, encouraging them to let their ideas and their creativity flourish. The winners in each of this year’s three entry categories – Democratic Transitions, Corruption, and Economically-Sustainable Development – will be published here on the CIPE blog over the course of the next several months.

In the first winning essay to be published as an Economic Reform Feature Service article, Democratic Transitions first place winner Vikas Joshi takes a look at the concrete steps that Indian youth should take in order to become more involved in politics. The quality of democracy depends on the people involved in it, he says, and there are currently too few young people motivated to participate. Joshi provides some suggestions on how India might better engage its young population.

Article at a glance:

  • In addition to being the world’s largest democracy, India is also the youngest – 54 percent of the population is under the age of 25.
  • Unfortunately, many young people are struggling economically. They focus on day-to-day needs rather than on democracy and politics.
  • Youth organizations should harness the power of technology and social media to get young people involved in elections and engaged in government.

Read more about all the winners or find out more about CIPE’s Youth Essay Contest.