the study that sweeps away preconceived ideas – L’Express

the study that sweeps away preconceived ideas – LExpress

What knowledge do young people have about war? Would they be ready to commit? A extensive investigation of Cevipof and the Strategic Research Institute of the Military School (Irsem), published this Friday April 12, shows that the majority of 18-25 year olds take the risk of world conflict very seriously, while the war in Ukraine is taking place before our eyes, at the gates of Europe.

While 52% of young people say they are interested in military issues, particularly through the prism of video games, the Ukrainian conflict, as well as the current war in Gaza, create among them both “a lucid awareness of the effects generated” by war and “an omnipresent fear of its possibility”, notes the study carried out among 2,301 people aged 18 to 25. The ideological divide around military issues is fading, notes the survey. “A right-wing orientation is always accompanied by more favorable dispositions towards the armies and the possibility of military engagement. Nevertheless, young people on the left do not turn their backs on the armies and their dispositions towards them no longer bear the traces of the antimilitarism that we could see before the end of compulsory conscription”, explains in the study she led, Anne Muxel, research director at the CNRS and deputy director of Cevipof.

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More than two years after the Russian invasion, 73% of young people questioned fear that the conflict will escalate beyond the borders of theUkraineand almost three-quarters fear the possibility of nuclear war.

1 in 2 young French people ready to get involved

What do the younger generations think of the possible sending of French troops to support kyiv, a scenario put forward in February by Emmanuel Macron? Those under 35 are significantly more favorable to this type of support (31% compared to 17% of those aged 50 and over), while those older are more in favor of economic and diplomatic sanctions against Russia.

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Two other figures demonstrate the commitment of young people. Half of 18-25 year olds (51%) say they are ready to join the ranks of the French army to fight on the front, if Paris decides to enter the war. 46% of young people also say they are ready to get involved in defending a country other than their own. “Young people indicate that they want to take their part in the defense of their country and to ensure the protection of civilian populations,” notes the survey, which adds that only a minority, or 1 in 5 young people, do not feel concerned at all. In a society sometimes perceived as increasingly fragmented and divided, 4 out of 10 young people even say they are ready to die for their country.