Research project Education, Political Efficacy and Informed Citizenship (EPIC)

...studies how political efficacy of young people develops as an interaction of civic education and socioeconomic background.

...challenges the dominance of socioeconomic explanations by adopting a life-course perspective.

...evaluates the development of political efficacy of young people as a whole by concentrating on those milestones that are common to all of them, but which may affect them differently.


EPIC focuses on the transition point where young people with different socioeconomic, including ethnic, backgrounds and uniform compulsory education move into different paths in life-course.

Our main research questions are:

  • To what extent a citizen’s political efficacy is determined by his or her socioeconomic background?
  • To what extent comprehensive school and subsequent educational paths or non-paths, such as employment or NEETs (Not in Education, Employment, or Training) either mitigate these differences, exacerbate them, or even create completely new gaps?
  • How gender and migration background moderate the effect of civic education and educational paths (or non-paths)?


Studying civic education, and the role it has in schools before adulthood when growing into a citizen, may refine the theory of political socialization and bring about new information on its intervening role.

The project collects quantitative panel and cross-sectional data and qualitative ethnographic data.


EPIC unravels the complex phenomenon of political efficacy and creates deeper knowledge on the political inequality by studying the role of school in a larger framework with multidisciplinary research group.

The research setting is novel in Finland, and by collecting both qualitative and quantitative unique data, it is likely to make important and policy relevant advances in the field.


The project is funded by the Academy of Finland (70%) and Tampere University (30%).