Approaches explaining the dynamics of informal youth participation during crisis typically examine youngsters’ political activity in light of the general understanding of political participation. In this article, I argue that such an approach falls short of understanding the motivations behind youth engagement during a crisis. Therefore, this qualitative study aims to investigate the motivations that triggered youth engagement in COVID-19–related protests and how they developed in response to government actions. It does so through 20 semi-structured interviews conducted across Bosnia and Herzegovina in the first six months of 2021 with 20 youth who had either no previous political participation experience or only voting engagement. The primary focus is on examining the motivations for two informal political activities—expression of opinion and protest. The findings reveal that the action-reaction patterns were not independent occurrences but evolved through three different stages each of which depended on distinctive motivations.

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