Participation of young people in civil society howard williamson


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Yeni Zamanlarda Genç Yurttaşların Katılımı Konferansı
9-10-11 Mayıs 2014

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Participation of young people in civil society howard williamson

  1. 1. © University of South Wales Participation of Young People in Civil Society Sivil Toplumda Gençlerin Katilimi Conference on Participation of Young Citizens in the New Era, Istanbul, Turkey, May 2014 Dr Howard Williamson CBE FRSA FHEA Professor of European Youth Policy
  2. 2. All countries have a youth policy – by intent, default or neglect Policies for, with and by young people General policies with a specific youth dimension General policies that may affect young people © University of South Wales ‘Youth policy’?
  3. 3. © University of South Wales ‘My background Youth Policy Youth research The voice of young people Youth Work
  4. 4. Youth transitions - longer, reversible, complex Opportunities and risks Vulnerabilities Combating negatives – drop-out, unemployment, drugs, crime Promoting positives – participation, autonomy, creativity, talent From ‘benign neglect’ to ‘malign indifference’ Don’t “leave the kids alone” © University of South Wales Youth Policy A relatively new concept – why?
  5. 5. Too much ‘youth policy’ is incoherent, contradictory and fragmented • Legislation • Budgets • Structures for delivery • Policy domains • Cross-cutting issues and objectives • Underpinning drivers for improvement • Monitoring and evaluation © University of South Wales Establishing coherence & possibility – the Council of Europe framework
  6. 6. © University of South Wales The heart of the framework Structures for Delivery National/local government NGOs Youth organisations Cross-cutting issues Youth participation Social inclusion Mobility Policy domains Education/training Health Housing Underpinning drivers Training Research Dissemination
  7. 7. Council of Europe Human rights and democracy Living in diverse societies Social inclusion of young people European Union Opportunities in education and employment Access to sports and participation Solidarity between the generations © University of South Wales European ‘youth policy’ frameworks
  8. 8. Youth work From youth-led to adult-led Contexts, Issues, Methods and Groups Role, targets and impacts Youth participation Why, who, when, where, how, what? Citizenship AND Participation? Article 12 of the UNCRC Combating the democratic deficit The practice of active citizenship Anchoring democracy Better policy and practice © University of South Wales Youth work and youth participation
  9. 9. © University of South Wales Critical questions for social inclusion policy
  10. 10. Coverage Capacity Competence Co-ordination Cost © University of South Wales Reflecting on youth policy (and its youth participation component)
  11. 11. © University of South Wales Making it happen DECISION & DRIVE decentralisation DELIVERY difficulties DEBATE dissent DEVELOPMENT direction
  12. 12. © University of South Wales ‘I’m fed up with youth participation’ Why? What? How? Who? When? Where?
  13. 13. © University of South Wales ‘I’m not really’! UNCRC – Article 12 The practice of active citizenship Addressing the democratic deficit Anchoring democracy, learning and ‘respect’ Better policy and practice
  14. 14. • Democratic and categorical representation • More diverse platforms for engagement Harnessing new technologies • Emphasising inter-dependency in decision-making • The challenge and ‘costs’ of reach • Information, preparation and support • The ‘adult’ young and the ‘young’ young Different voices, understandings and expectations • Simplicity versus sophistication © University of South Wales But it is a complex challenge
  15. 15. Always different, always the same Context is everything Connecting objective realities and subjective perspectives ‘Translation’ – between different corners of the triangle of research, policy and practice Implementation ‘leakage’ “Hitting the target, but missing the point” © University of South Wales Recurrent lessons in any youth policy and practice
  16. 16. The ‘precarious equilibrium’ of all forms of partnership and collaboration • Expectations, commitment, reciprocity But the critical need for partners and champions Evidence and advocacy only ever goes so far • Politics and pragmatism often take over There is always a need for reflection and renewal © University of South Wales Conclusions “There is no such thing as a lost cause, only a cause as yet unwon” John Steinbeck