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Youth Citizenship in Divided Societies: Between Cosmpolitanism, Nation, and Civil Society

Objective

YouCitizen is a comparative, multi-level ethnographic research project that examines the efforts of international organisations, civil society organisations, and states to foster citizenship for youth in divided societies. In their efforts, agents working in such organisations often engage in paradoxical, if not contradictory, acts to promote both cosmopolitanism within civil society and national identities, even when aspects of national identity have been a source of division. A central premise of the research is that the outcomes of these efforts are conditioned by the contexts in which programmes for youth are delivered and enacted. In these contexts – which include histories of division and marginalisation, societal and communal norms, family histories, and the spaces of daily life – youth interpret and experience citizenship. YouCitizen’s critical intervention is in extending the examination of citizenship formation to consider the ways in which youth interpret, experience, and potentially remake citizenship that is different to, and may actually challenge, the forms of citizenship that organisations and states attempt to instil.
The empirical foci of the study are the networks of organisations promoting citizenship and/or civic engagement, and youth, aged 15-24 in South Africa, Bosnia-Herzegovina and Lebanon who have been involved with those programmes. It explores the goals of those organisations, their funding sources and activities to understand both the vision of citizenship they promote and the traditions and influences from which they draw; particular attention is paid to ideals and values associated with cosmopolitanism vis-à-vis the nation and the ways in which they address social division. Interviews and participant observation with youth explore the ways in which their experiences and understanding of citizenship are influenced by those programmes, but are also entwined with daily life in their homes and communities.

Field of science

  • /humanities/history and archaeology/history
  • /social sciences/political science/political policy/civil society

Call for proposal

ERC-2011-ADG_20110406
See other projects for this call

Funding Scheme

ERC-AG - ERC Advanced Grant

Host institution

UNIVERSITY OF DURHAM
Address
Stockton Road The Palatine Centre
DH1 3LE Durham
United Kingdom
Activity type
Higher or Secondary Education Establishments
EU contribution
€ 2 350 080,20
Principal investigator
Lynn Staeheli (Prof.)
Administrative Contact
Wendy Harle (Ms.)

Beneficiaries (3)

UNIVERSITY OF DURHAM
United Kingdom
EU contribution
€ 2 350 080,20
Address
Stockton Road The Palatine Centre
DH1 3LE Durham
Activity type
Higher or Secondary Education Establishments
Principal investigator
Lynn Staeheli (Prof.)
Administrative Contact
Wendy Harle (Ms.)
THE CHANCELLOR MASTERS AND SCHOLARS OF THE UNIVERSITY OF CAMBRIDGE
United Kingdom
EU contribution
€ 37 346,40
Address
Trinity Lane The Old Schools
CB2 1TN Cambridge
Activity type
Higher or Secondary Education Establishments
Administrative Contact
Renata Schaeffer (Ms.)
THE UNIVERSITY OF SHEFFIELD
United Kingdom
EU contribution
€ 31 586,40
Address
Firth Court Western Bank
S10 2TN Sheffield
Activity type
Higher or Secondary Education Establishments
Administrative Contact
Joanne Watson (Ms.)