Survey finds high support for younger FNC candidates

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By Donia Ibrahim

UNIVERSITY CITY, SHARJAH – The support for young candidates running for seats in the Federal National Council in the United Arab Emirates was high in a survey experiment, Dr. Bethany Shockley, an assistant professor of political science at the American University of Sharjah, said Oct. 19. 

Shockley developed an experiment to analyze the types of political representatives that younger, more educated segments of the public prefer in the UAE.

She noted that the first phase of her project was preliminary qualitative research, in which she conducted an interview with an elected FNC member and an analysis of government documents and media coverage. Based on the research, she developed two survey experiments with expatriates and nationals to examine their preferences and the factors that shape them.

From a macro-level perspective, she said that inclusion occurs today because of modernization, globalization, and state feminism. She explained that state feminism is how the state guides the pace and extent of inclusion, as well as the appointment, of women to government positions.

She stated that individuals tend to follow a preference pattern that includes social identity, role congruity, and elite cues when observed.

She noted that the support for young candidates was high in the survey experiment, which found many participants prefer locally educated, experienced, and moderately religious individuals in government positions.