As part of its on-going commitment to promoting political activism and democratic engagement, the Political Studies Association is pleased to announce the publication of a new volume, Beyond the Youth Citizenship Commission: Young People and Politics. The publication is edited by Professor Jon Tonge (University of Liverpool) and Dr Andy Mycock (University of Huddersfield), who between 2008 and 2009 served on the independent Youth Citizenship Commission formed by the last Labour government together with Professor Phil Cowley (University of Nottingham). The volume builds on the work of the Youth Citizenship Commission and other research by members of the Political Studies Association and seeks to further energise debates about young people and democratic participation. It has emerged from a series of workshops kindly funded by the Political Studies Association together with the Huddersfield, Liverpool, Royal Holloway and Southampton universities.

The volume brings together leading youth citizenship specialists from the Political Studies Association who draw on their academic research to encourage the development of democratic participation and political literacy amongst young people. Contributions to the volume provide short opinion pieces on a range of youth citizenship topics and offer policy proposals to encourage governments, political parties and youth stakeholder groups across the UK to adopt more dynamic approaches to encouraging young people to get involved in politics. The volume addresses issues such as votes at 16, political participation of young women and BME groups, citizenship education in schools and universities, youth social media, and compulsory youth voting.  Policy proposals include a referendum on votes at 16, compulsory electoral registration in schools, and the reform of political party membership to make it more youth-centric.

The volume also provides details of a new campaign led by Political Studies Association Young People’s Politics specialist group to encourage the development of universities as ‘sites of democracy’. The group are pleased to announce the development of a ‘Charter for Active Citizenship in Higher Education’ and will be encouraging vice-chancellors and heads of Politics departments in universities across the UK to sign up.

The volume was discussed at a special panel at the Political Studies Association conference in Manchester on April 16th 2014. A panel of respected academics, including Professors Jon Tonge and Gerry Stoker, discussed youth citizenship issues with representatives from the Manchester Youth Council and local schools. The panel also included Sam Johnson, a young councillor from Manchester City Council and Ian Wybron, a member of the Demos Generation Citizen project.

The volume will be officially launched at an event in Westminster in the summer and other events will be hosted in Edinburgh, Belfast and Cardiff. Chapters from the publication will also be hosted in an exciting series of on-line debates on the Democratic Audit and PSA blogs, with leading politicians, academics, and youth organisation will respond the policy proposals.

An electronic copy of the Beyond the Youth Citizenship Commission: Young People and Politics volume can be downloaded here.

For further details of PSA youth citizenship events linked to the project or to ask for a hard copy of the volume, please contact Dr Andy Mycock.