The PSA Young People’s Politics specialist group addresses various questions within contemporary and historical contexts related to young people’s political participation, such as:

  • What does ‘politics’ and political participation mean to young people?
  • How and why do young people choose to participate (or not) in politics and democracy?
  • How can young people be encouraged to participate more widely (and deeply) in various forms of civic and political engagement, including electoral and non-electoral forms of political participation?
  • How is the landscape of young people’s citizenship and political participation evolving?
  • Why is young people’s political participation important?

Members of the YPP specialist group engage with key issues, such as:

citizenship, citizenship education, political socialisation, Votes at 16, electoral participation, political generations, non-electoral participation, Do-It-Ourselves politics, protest, engagement, generational replacement, representation, precarity and politics, intergenerational inequalities.

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The Young People's Politics SG is (co)organising  panels for the PSA 2021 conference in Belfast, Monday-Wednesday 29-31 March  2021.

We'll be in contact with PSA YPP SG group soon.

1 September 2020.


The 2020 PSA Conference in Edinburgh is cancelled


The Young People's Politics SG is (co)organising 6 panels for the PSA 2020 conference in Edinburgh, Monday-Wednesday 6-8 April 2020. Here is the schedule:

PSA Conference Edinburgh 6-8 April 2020, Young People’s Politics (YPP) schedule


Sunday, 5 April 2020

13:00 - 16:00

Preconference PSA YPP event (see details below) at Edinburgh International Conference Centre

‘Re-imagining Politics: Votes-at-16 and Democratic Education’


Monday, 6 April 2020

15:00 - 16:20


Young People, Values and Political Participation

Chaired By: Sarah Pickard


The Impact of Values on Young People's Political Participation

» Ms. Fawzia Slimani1

1. University of York

Inequalities of Youth and the Precarity of Values

» Mr. Jakob Hartl1

1. University of Bristol, Universität Halle-Wittenberg

Young Europeans, Migration, Racism and Diversity: The Contextualisation of Values

» Prof. Alistair ROSS1

1. London Metropolitan University

Young Cosmopolitans and Environmental Politics: How Postmaterialist Values Feed Youth Engagement in Environmental Issues in Established Democracies

» Prof. Matt HENN1, Dr. James SLOAM2, Dr. Ana PONTES1

1. Nottingham Trent University, 2. Royal Holloway (University of London)


17:00 - 18:30: Special roundtable event with climatestrikers:

‘Listening to the science: a roundtable on young climate activism’


Evening: Informal meeting near venue for Young People’s Politics specialist group members  



Tuesday, 7 April 2020

09:00 - 10:20


The Personal and the Political: Young People’s Experiences of Political Participation

Chaired By: James Weinberg


Girly Swots and Party Girls: Young Women and participation in political organisations

» Ms. Katherine SMITH1

1. University of Sheffield

Young people’s participation and the tension between structure and agency

» Ms. Christine Huebner1

1. University of Edinburgh

Private, Public, and Political: What we can learn from the lived experiences of young people in America

» Dr. Julianne Viola1

1. Imperial College London

Social Spheres, Values and the Political Participation of Young People in Switzerland

» Ms. Eva Fernández1, Ms. Valentina Holecz2

1. Unversity of Geneva, 2. University of Geneva



Tuesday, 7 April 2020

10:50 - 12:10


Citizenship and Rights for Gen Z and Beyond

Chaired By:  Jan Eichhorn


Becoming a citizen - Votes at 16 and youth transitions to adulthood

» Prof. JONATHAN TONGE1, Dr. Andrew Mycock2, Dr. Thomas Loughran2

1. University of Liverpool, 2. University of Huddersfield

Millennials, Post-Millennials and Magic Grandads: Do Young Voters Support Older White Men at the Ballot Box?

» Prof. Charles Lees1, Prof. Rodrigo Praino1

1. Flinders University

Should Immigrants Have Rights?: A Comparative Study of How Civic Education Influences Youth Opinion on Migrant Rights

» Dr. Shan-Jan Sarah Liu1

1. University of Edinburgh

Contextual influencers of youth political participation and the mediating effect of age: a multilevel analysis

» Ms. Magdelina Kitanova1

1. University of Southampton


12:10 - 13:10: ECN Speed Mentoring Lunch



Tuesday, 7 April 2020

13:10 - 14:30


Young people's politics and methods

Chaired By: Benjamin Bowman


The Utility of a Mixed Method Approach in Centralising Young People’s Voices in Engagement Research

» Ms. Rebecca Baker1

1. University of Exeter

Young People’s Aspirations : from personal career and life to societal goals and values? A study with 1st and 3rd year students in London

» Dr. Thalia Magioglou1

1. St Mary's University, Twickenham

Working towards relevant instruments to measure today’s young people’s informal modes of political socialisation

» Prof. Nicole Gallant1, Ms. Alice Gaudreau1

1. INRS University

Cutting through the noise: using live theatre performance to inspire confident questioning and promote citizenship education for 9-12 year olds

» Mrs. Miranda Duffy1

1. University of Leeds


Evening: Conference Dinner





Wednesday, 8 April 2020

11:00 - 12:20


Young People and Environmental Politics: Reformists, Radicals and Revolutionaries

Chaired By: Katherine Smith and Heather Alberro


‘Despair, Grief, Anger and Hope.’ Young Extinction Rebellion (XR) Activists, Environmental Activism and Emotions

» Dr. Sarah Pickard1

1. Université Sorbonne Nouvelle - Paris 3

Listen to the Science: Participatory Action Research with Young Climate Strikers

» Dr. Benjamin Bowman1

1. Manchester Metropolitan University

Young People's Environmental Participative Repertoires: Person-centred Analysis of Environmental Engagement

» Dr. Iana Tzankova1, Prof. Elvira Cicognani1

1. University of Bologna

How do Young People across the Spectrum of Economic Inequality Participate in Environmental Politics in the UK?

» Ms. Dena Arya1, Prof. Matt HENN1, Dr. Oliver HARRISON1

1. Nottingham Trent University


12:20 - 13:20: Young People’s Politics specialist group Lunch meeting



Wednesday, 8 April 2020

13:20 - 14:40


Young People's Politics and Participation

Chaired By: Joe Greenwood and Emily Rainsford


Young Scottish National Party Members and National Identity

» Ms. Claire Breniaux1

1. Université de Bourgogne

Growing up in the time of Brexit: The perception of parliamentary politics

» Dr. Imogen Feld1

1. King's College London

Youth non-voting in a ‘post-conflict’ setting: beyond apathy and engaged scepticism

» Mr. Dean Farquhar1

1. University of Liverpool



Sunday, 5 April 2020

13:00 - 16:00

Preconference PSA YPP event at Edinburgh International Conference Centre

‘Re-imagining Politics: Votes-at-16 and Democratic Education’


Opening the PSA Annual Conference this event is part of a series of youth-focused engagement workshops organised by Leverhulme Trust.

Re-imagining Politics: Votes-at-16 and Democratic Education

We are pleased to invite you to the Re-imagining Politics: Votes-at-16 and Democratic Education in Scotland event, to be held on April 5th 2020 between 1.30pm and 4pm (doors open at 1pm) at the Edinburgh International Conference Centre. The event both opens the Political Studies Association Annual Conference (6-8th April) and contributes to a series of youth-focused engagement workshops and conferences organised by the Leverhulme Trust-funded ‘Lowering the Voting Age in the UK’ project (

The event is organised in collaboration with the University of Edinburgh and Education Scotland. It will bring together young people from a wide-range of youth democracy organisations including the Scottish Youth Parliament and Youth Scotland, academics, citizenship and Modern Studies educators, and policy-makers. The event aims to help inform evidence-based policy-making, and will engage with the Scottish Parliament’s current Modern Studies inquiry, and the UK House of Commons All Political Party Group on Votes at 16 and the All Political Party Group on Democratic Participation. Representatives will attend from the Electoral Reform Society, the Electoral Commission, the Modern Studies Association, the Association for Citizenship Teachers, and the Political Studies Association Young People’s Politics specialist group.

This will be a high-impact event which seeks to capture the views and ideas of participants on a range of issues linked to the lowering of the voting age and current discussions about citizenship, Modern Studies, and democratic education in Scotland. A report from the event will be submitted to policy-makers, political parties, youth organisations, academics, and – most importantly – to young people in Scotland and the rest of the UK.

The event has three main aims and objectives:

1) To present current academic research from the Leverhulme Trust-funded Lowering the Voting Age team, the University of Edinburgh, and Education Scotland. This section aims to inform all participants of the current state-of-play across the UK in terms of voting age reform, democratic education, and youth political participation.

2) To host a series of youth-led workshops focusing the best ways to prepare young people to vote, and how can democracy be reformed to become more youth-led and youth-focused. The workshops will provide opportunities for young people to help policy-makers to develop comprehensive, youth-led approaches to reforming the voting age and youth democratic engagement.

3) To facilitate a networking session for youth and democratic reform organisations, policy-makers, and academics to develop next steps initiatives with regards to youth democratic education and youth political engagement.

The event will also host the UK launch for the volume Lowering the Voting Age to 16: Learning from Real Experiences Worldwide which is co-edited by Dr Jan Eichhorn and Dr Johannes Bergh.

Organised by Andy Mycock (University of Huddersfield), Tom Loughran (University of Huddersfield), Tom Jan Eichhorn (University of Edinburgh), Christine Huebner (Nottingham Trent University), Dena Arya (Nottingham Trent University), and Alan Britton (Education Scotland).

Location: Edinburgh International Conference Centre, 150 Morrison Street , #The Exchange, Edinburgh, EH3 8EE

Free tickets here:



The PSA’s network of 60 Specialist Groups offers a research focus for all members and covers a vast range of specialities within the discipline. SGs provide an opportunity for groups of academics who share a common interest in a particular area of the discipline to organise meetings, coordinate communications, and as outlets for research – as well as giving PSA members opportunities for developing their academic impact and professional development.”


Convenors can view the SG Handbook here.


If you would like to learn more or have any questions, do get in touch via or with Arianna Giovannini (, the Specialist Groups Trustee


Contact Us

Ben Bowman

Role: Convenor
Institution: Manchester Metropolitan University

Sarah Pickard

Role: Convenor
Institution: Université Sorbonne Nouvelle - Paris 3

Emily Rainsford

Role: Convenor
Institution: Newcastle University

Katherine Smith

Role: Convenor
University of Sheffield

James Weinberg

Role: Convenor
University of Sheffield

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