PARTISPACE Policy Briefs are now available as PDF files. Please make sure you have a suitable reader application in order to be able to access file contents.

 

Summary of policy briefs

PARTISPACE aims at a rethinking of youth participation by analysing what young people do in public space, what it means to them and to what extent this can be understood as political, civic and social. The research question is: How and where do young people participate, across social milieus and youth cultural scenes? What styles of participation do they prefer and develop – and in what spaces?

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1) Training module

This module has been developed from the Partispace research on spaces and styles of youth participation, conducted in eight European cities between 2015 and 2018. The research was undertaken by a team led by Andreas Walther of Goethe University Frankfurt and funded by the European Union under the Horizon 2020 programme. The aim of the module is to use key findings from this ground-breaking project to support learning and development amongst youth workers and other practitioners working with young people, as well as students of youth policy and practice. In the research, we learned about the interaction between policy and practice at the local, national and European levels. We learned about the settings in which young people participate and the purposes of that participation. We learned about the kinds of young people who participate and the rich variety of ways in which they participate. We learned about how young people, and those working with them, understand participation, and how much that is different from the dominant ‘official’ understandings. Above all, we learned about young people’s experiences of participation, and how those can be made better.

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2) Spaces and styles of youth participation

The project “Spaces and Styles of Youth Participation: Formal, non-formal and informal possibilities of young people’s participation in European cities” (PARTISPACE) has analysed what participation means for young people in different social positions and life conditions in eight European cities: Bologna (Italy), Eskisehir (Turkey), Frankfurt (Germany), Gothenburg (Sweden), Manchester (UK), Plovdiv (Bulgaria), Rennes (France), and Zurich (Switzerland).

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3) Recognizing the diversity of styles of youth participation

PARTISPACE has analysed what participation means for young people in different social posi-tions and life conditions. Research findings suggest that an understanding of participation is needed that is broader and recognises the diverse ways in which young people claim being a part of society. Styles of participation can conform to existing rules but also deviate, they can address a whole com-munity or society but they can also focus on the interests of a specific group.

This policy brief is concerned with emphasising the need to recognise the diversity of styles of youth participation. It gives recommendations to policy and practice at local, national and European level concerning why recognition of diverse styles is necessary in promoting youth participation and what this can mean in terms of concrete orientations and actions.

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4) Making spaces for youth participation accessible and available

PARTISPACE analysed what participation means for young people in different social positions and life conditions. The findings suggest that an understanding of participation is needed that is broader and that recognises the diverse ways young people claim being a part of society. Partici-pation implies exploring, appropriating and using public spaces in different ways.

This policy brief is concerned with the spaces of participation and the ways in which participa-tion is connected to space. To a large extent, these issues are local in character. The policy recommendations suggested here are first directed to politicians, administrators and youth workers at city level. However, they are also relevant to youth policy and policy makers concerned with urban development at national and European level.

The aim of the recommendations is to facilitate and promote young people’s access to a diversity of spaces in which they can cope with their everyday lives and experiment with their identities, and where they are recognised as members of society.

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5) Supporting young people's participation biographies

PARTISPACE has analysed what participation means for young people in different social posi-tions and life conditions. Research findings suggest that an understanding of participation is needed that is broader and recognises the diverse ways young people claim being a part of society. Why and how young people become active participants is connected to their biographical development.

This policy brief is concerned with the biographical meaning that young people attach to their participatory activities and the conditions under which these can be supported. First, it gives recommendations to youth policies at local, national and European level who are concerned with empowering young people to get involved in political social and civic participation. Second, it ad-dresses education policies with regard to necessary changes in formal and non-formal education. Thirdly, it refers to practitioners working with young people in formal and non-formal education.

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6) Young people learn democracy by doing

PARTISPACE has analysed what participation means for young people in different social posi-tions and life conditions. Research findings suggest that an understanding of participation is needed that is broader and recognises the diverse ways young people claim being a part of society. This has implications for understanding how young people learn to participate.

This policy brief is concerned with the learning processes related with young people’s partici-pation and how such learning can be supported. First, it refers to practitioners working with young people in formal and non-formal education. Second, it gives recommendations to youth pol-icies at local, national and European level who are concerned with empowering young people to get involved in political social and civic participation. Third, it addresses education policies with regard to necessary changes in formal and non-formal education.

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7) Addressing conflicts as moments of participation

PARTISPACE analysed what participation means for young people in different social positions and life conditions. The findings suggest that an understanding of participation is needed that is broader and that recognises the diverse ways young people claim being a part of society. Conflicts are moments of participation in which claims for inclusion face mechanisms of exclusion.

This policy brief is concerned with the conflictual structure of participation and the participatory potential of conflict. It gives recommendations on dealing with social conflict in a way that recog-nises the needs and claims of young people involved and empowers and supports their participation. It is addressed primarily to policy makers at local level who are concerned with conflicts of young people in public space, to practitioners in educational contexts such as school and youth work, and also to the police as responsible for maintaining public order. However, findings and recommenda-tions are also relevant for national and European policy makers concerned with youth participation.

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