Becoming an informed voter: Compulsory voting and developing political knowledge in Australia

Zareh Ghazarian, Jacqueline Laughland-Booy

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter (Book)Researchpeer-review


This chapter offers a critical perspective on one of the oldest and most consistent claims made for compulsory voting in Australia, namely that it would encourage greater citizen engagement with, and understanding of, the political system. The chapter focuses on the development of political knowledge and skills of young citizens and how they become equipped to vote in elections once they turn 18. It first provides an international overview of political knowledge before analysing the types of political knowledge Australians require in order to make informed political choices. It subsequently considers how young people might access this knowledge, and examines potential barriers to people’s ability to become informed. It finally offers a critical discussion of current challenges and considers potential ways of improving the political knowledge of Australia’s youngest voters.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationA Century of Compulsory Voting in Australia
EditorsMatteo Bonotti, Paul Strangio
Place of PublicationGateway East, Singapore
PublisherPalgrave Macmillan
Number of pages22
ISBN (Electronic)9789813340251
ISBN (Print)9789813340244
Publication statusPublished - 2021

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