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Opinion: No voting magic about the age 18

Evidence from countries that have reduced their voting age from 18 show that enfranchising 16-to-17-year-olds fosters political engagement and interest

Opinion by Victoria Woodman: Voting is a civic right, but every democracy limits who can vote. These limits vary across time and place. Historically, New Zealand was considered something of a democratic pioneer, having had, as the historian Neill Atkinson put it, many “adventures in democracy”.


The International Social Survey Programme (ISSP): A wealth of underutilised data

This research on the International Social Survey Programme (ISSP) in New Zealand was included in a presentation by Komathi Kolandai (COMPASS & Public Policy Institute) & Martin von Randow (COMPASS) for the COMPASS Colloquium, Wellington, 25 October 2022. The presentation provides an overview of the ISSP – a continuing annual cross-national research collaboration in which New Zealand has participated since 1991. The presentation illustrates cross-time and cross-country trends on selected variables and discusses future social science research implications.

Policy Commons Blog

The strategic importance of the Pacific Islands to Taiwan

In the wake of the Russian invasion of Ukraine, there have been heightened concerns that a Taiwan contingency involving the People’s Republic of China (PRC) could play out in the not-too-distant future. This year’s Department of Defense Annual Report on China to the US Congress asserts that PRC leadership views unification as pivotal to its policy of “Rejuvenation of the Chinese Nation,” and its piecemeal pressure tactics against Taipei has led US President Joe Biden to openly state that the United States would defend Taiwan in the event of an invasion.

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