Young political aspirants in the Fiji 2014 elections- motivations and experiences (2017)
In 2014, Fiji held general elections for the first time since the coup of 2006. The elections had many features that differed from previous elections. One feature was the reduction of the voting age to 18 years. This, amongst other factors, propelled young people into the political limelight as both voters and candidates. This paper focusses on young candidates, whose entry into the political landscape is novel for Fiji. In a country historically devoid of young people’s political participation this signalled a shift in young people’s political engagement. The paper draws on Bourdieu’s concept of habitus to understand candidate motivations to contest the election and their experience of political campaigning. Doing so allows us to appreciate the political aspirations of young Fijian politicians and what this might mean for the future of Fijian politics.
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