Save 40% site-wide with our holiday sale! Use code HOLIDAY23 at checkout. More details here.

Generational Politics in the United States

From the Silents to Gen Z and Beyond

Subjects: Political Science, American Politics, Political Behavior and Public Opinion, Political Communication
Open Access : 9780472904440, 400 pages, 62 figures, 38 tables, 6 x 9, June 2024
Paperback : 9780472056767, 400 pages, 62 figures, 38 tables, 6 x 9, June 2024
Hardcover : 9780472076765, 400 pages, 62 figures, 38 tables, 6 x 9, June 2024
See expanded detail +

How generational change impacts the future of American politics

Table of contents


Part I: Foundations
Chapter 1: Generations, Politics, and Political Science
by David Schultz
Chapter 2: Generational Change in Partisanship - An Age-Period-Cohort Accounting
By Laura Stoker
Chapter 3. Collective Memory and the Pandemic Emergence of Generation Z
By Scott L. McClean

Part II: Attitudes and Opinions.
Chapter 4. Generational Divides, Changing Times, or Aging? Examining Immigration. Opinion in the U.S., 2004-2018
By Jeffrey C. Dixon, Andrew S. Fullerton, and Victoria Nash
Chapter 5. Generational attitudes toward drug policies in the United States
By Leah Hutton Blumenfeld
Chapter 6. Gender and the Generations: You Haven’t Come a Long Way Yet, Baby
By Whitney Ross Manzo and David B. McLennan
 Chapter 7. What American Heroism Teaches Us About Generations and Politics
By Bruce Peabody

Part III: Participation and Political Engagement
Chapter 8. “The Times They are a Changin’”: Generational Comparisons of the Civil Rights Movement with the Current-Day Climate Movement
By Robin Boyle Laisure
Chapter 9. Building Youthful Habits of Voting
By Niall Michelsen
Chapter 10. Presidential Candidates on Campus and Civic Engagement among College Students
By Kenneth Moffet and Laurie Rice

Part IV: Impact
Chapter 11. Millennial Generation Political Engagement – Democratically Motivated or Disenchanted? Insights from the 2020 Election
By Ashley D. Ross and Stella M. Rouse
Chapter 12. Generational Shifts Change Politics in Florida
By Susan A. MacManus and Anthony A. Cilluffo 
Chapter 13. How They Govern: Do Millennial Mayors Bring a Generational Perspective to Their Activities
By Sally Friedman, Michael Armato and Emily Matott  
Chapter 14. The Language of Representation: How Millennial and Non-Millennial Legislators Present Themselves to Constituents
By Sally Friedman, Emily Matott and Andrew McMahon


The role of generations is an important, yet often overlooked, variable in the study of American politics. A topic of research in sociology, business, and marketing, the focus on generations frequently occurs in American pop culture and journalism. The general public often assumes that different generations have different political leanings and beliefs—that the Silent Generation is all Republican, white, and conservative, or that Millennials are liberal and diverse—but are these assumptions true?

Generational Politics in the United States is the first comprehensive book that examines the concept of generations from a political science perspective. It defines what a generation is and how to sort out the differences between life cycle, cohort, and aging effect. The book then brings together chapters from an array of political science scholars that examine the role of generations in American politics and how it relates to other variables such as age, race, gender, and socioeconomic status. It discusses how politics in the United States are impacted by changes in generations, including how the passing of the Baby Boom generation and rise of the Millennials and Gen Z will change American politics. By examining the differences in political attitudes, engagement, and impact of recent generations, Generational Politics in the United States suggests how generational change will impact American politics in the future.

Sally Friedman is Associate Professor of Political Science at the University at Albany.
David Schultz is Hamline University Distinguished Professor of Political Science, Legal Studies, and Environmental Studies and Professor of Law at the University of Minnesota.

“This volume reopens the question of generational impact on political behavior and provides some direction for future research.”
—John J. McGlennon, College of William & Mary

- John J. McGlennon