International IDEA workshop on putting young people at the center: how to build democratic citizenship in transitioning countries?
111 28 Stockholm
“No citizens, no true democracy” is a widely held view in academic research and in democracy building processes.
But how do citizens become democratic to be this bedrock of democracies? Previous research from advanced democracies shows that democratic citizenship and political engagement develops early in life, during the so-called formative years, and then remain relatively unchanged. The question is then, how do we build democratic citizenship in transitioning countries and what role do young people have?
About the research
The new research project “The legacy of authoritarian regimes on democratic citizenship”, led by Nottingham University, studies this and related questions and shows that citizens' formative experiences in non-democratic systems impact their political attitudes, values, and behavior even after the existence of these regimes. These legacy effects have important implications for the development of a democratic political culture in transitioning societies and implies that youth is a particular important group to include in democracy-building efforts.
The objective of the workshop is to present the key findings from the research project and link these to the work of democracy practitioners. Representatives from three organisations, Democracy Reporting International -Myanmar, The Christian Democratic International Centre (KIC) and the Robert Schumann Institute (RSI) will share their experiences of working with youth, civic education and democracy support in three different parts of the world: Myanmar, Kenya (Uganda tbc) and Eastern Europe. Their presentations will be supplemented by the researchers from Nottingham University and Essex University, UK, who will present country related data and findings. A discussion with presenters and participants on the legacy effect and practical implications that the research findings might have for actors working in transitional contexts will conclude the workshop.
Nottingham University, Democracy Reporting International - Myanmar, the Christian Democratic International Centre (KIC) and the Robert Schumann Institute (RSI)
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