Young People's Politics
The Young People’s Politics specialist group addresses three main questions: (1) ‘what does “politics” mean to young people?’; (2) ‘how and why do young people choose to participate in democracy?’; and (3) ‘how can “Generation Y” (those born in the late 1980s and early 1990s) be encouraged to participate more widely (and deeply) in various forms of civic and political engagement?’ The group is concerned to examine young people’s politics in the context of austerity and the rise and proliferation of protest politics in Britain and across the Western world. Socially excluded young people have sometimes expressed their frustration and lack of hope through political extremism and violence, as illustrated by the rise in support for nationalist parties and riots that have shaken several European countries in recent years. Why is young people’s politics so important? Because ‘generational replacement’ is the key driving force behind political change and can offer us a window through which to view the future of our democracies. Thus, if we are to understand political participation at all, we must explore how each new generation comes to develop its own conceptions of citizenship and expresses itself through civic and political engagement.