The ANNALS of the American Academy of Political and Social Science

The ANNALS of the American Academy of Political and Social Science has devoted its entire issue No. 633 form November 2011 to the topic of youth participation.

Some of the articles I found very interesting and I wish to summarize them here a little bit:

Daniel Hart and Robert Atkins: „American Sixteen- and Seventeen-Year-Olds Are Ready to Vote“ To quote from the abstract: „American 16- and 17-year-olds ought to be allowed to vote in state and national elections. This claim rests upon a line of argument that begins with an exegesis of legal and philosophical notions of citizenship that identify core qualities of citizenship: membership, concern for rights, and participation in society. Each of these qualities is present in rudimentary form in childhood and adolescence. Analyses of national survey data demonstrate that by 16 years of age—but not before— American adolescents manifest levels of development in each quality of citizenship that are approximately the same as those apparent in young American adults who are allowed to vote. The lack of relevant differences in capacities for citizenship between 16- and 17-year-olds and those legally enfranchised makes current laws arbitrary, …“

They argue that by the age of 16 most indicators that stand we use to look on to judge that someone is ready to be a citizen like knowledge about politics, the feeling of political efficacy, the skills needed for political action, the interest in politics and tolerance are comparable to adults or even exceeding some adult groups. Therefore this youth should be given the right to vote. The study is based on a survey conducted by the authors.

In Participatory Niches for Emergent Citizenship in Early Adolescence: An International Perspective Judith Torney-Purta and Jo-Ann Amadeo write about different perspectives and argue that rather then lowering the voting age, campaigns to involve children and youth should be focused on every day participatory niches and that those niches should be expanded: „we argue for promoting “emergent participatory citizenship” during the adolescent years. Directing serious attention to enhancing the politically and civically relevant niches that those between ages 10 and 18 occupy in their everyday lives, in our view, has greater potential for positive effects than does a campaign to lower the voting age worldwide.“ (All the quotes in this section are taken from the article)

The Authors conceptualize the terms as you can see her and try to give us an overview of the factors that help to built citizenship. „The ANNALS of the American Academy of Political and Social Science“ weiterlesen