Intro — The Paradox of Gen Z Politics

The Paradox of Gen Z Politics Global Report

Racism. Inequality. War. Terrorism. Technology and data security issues. Climate Change. Youth today have an ever-growing list of concerns and are rapidly approaching a point of burnout. Many Gen Zs are exasperated with the world they’re inheriting and wary about their capacity to manage this geopolitical storm that doesn’t seem to be subsiding any time soon.

Yes, they are the youngest politically active cohort worldwide and famous figures like Greta Thunberg and Amanda Gorman have helped cement Gen Zs place as role models for activism and social progress. But based on the current state of the world, too many global Gen Zs, it feels like nothing is changing —or worse— we’re moving backward.

The rift between older generations and Gen Z grows wider as younger people are acutely aware that the consequences of current policies will outlast the tenures of today’s policymakers, leaving them to clean up yet another of the older generations’ messes. Gen Z’s trust in politicians might be fading, but they believe in themselves, and actually recognize the power institutions and governments have to produce meaningful change.

So much is on this generation's plate, and they feel so overwhelmed that they're consciously establishing a sustainable balance between their political involvement and taking care of their mental health. Only taking on what they can handle without taking their eyes off the important matters has led to some groups of Gen Z focusing on more attainable, local political efforts, while others engage in activism, and some just try to create change within their family by having important but uncomfortable conversations.

Recognizing that politics is messy and that the only way to achieve balance is to embrace nuance, Gen Zs around the world are trying to reintroduce a measure of civility by working to see things from others’ perspective in the hopes of finding attainable solutions in a world that seems to be pushing to extremes.

In this month's report, Cassandra presents its stump speech and rallies its global delegates to unravel the political mindset of our increasingly influential youth.