Involving young people in democracy

Unpaid internships in Parliament are a barrier to widening political participation

Unpaid internships in Parliament are a barrier to widening political participation

Many people who work in Parliament have previously worked unpaid for MPs, or found their current job through personal connections. Rebecca Montacute argues that to create a Parliament that is trusted and better represents the electorate, it is time to change these practices to ensure people from less privileged backgrounds have equal opportunities to pursue a career in politics.

Why it is essential we design the right digital democracy tools to suit local conditions

Why it is essential we design the right digital democracy tools to suit local conditions

Online tools that improve citizens’ access to information about their political system and enable greater democratic participation have become central to the political landscape in many democratic countries. A new report examines how such tools have worked in Sub-Saharan Africa, and finds that they can be effective, as long as initiatives are designed for each country’s circumstances, writes Rebecca Rumbul.

Youthquake 2017: how the rise of young cosmopolitans in Britain could transform politics

Youthquake 2017: how the rise of young cosmopolitans in Britain could transform politics

In a new book, James Sloam and Matt Henn examine the much-disputed rise in political participation of 18–24 year olds in the UK. They find that the overwhelming majority share a set of cosmopolitan cultural values, which has significant implications for long-term voting patterns and the increasingly entrenched intergenerational politics.

Will the ‘youthquake’ shake up the 2018 local elections?

Will the ‘youthquake’ shake up the 2018 local elections?

Youth engagement was heralded by some as a key factor in the 2017 UK general election result but what impact could it have in the 2018 local elections? Erica Belcher argues that this enthusiasm may not necessarily translate to the local level, but it’s more important than ever for young people to engage in local politics.

Outside the south-east, Britain’s towns are struggling to hold on to their young people

Outside the south-east, Britain’s towns are struggling to hold on to their young people

Many of Britain’s towns are shrinking; big-city Britain is largely thriving. Taking south Wales as an example of these divisions, Ian Warren explains why his new Centre for Towns will advocate for the future of our towns, particularly during a period when both major parties in the UK parliament appear committed to city regions. Similar PostsEuropean […]

Votes at 16: we need a proper conversation about when adulthood begins

Votes at 16: we need a proper conversation about when adulthood begins

The vexed question of whether people should be allowed to vote from the age of 16 has returned to the Commons with Jim McMahon MP’s Private Member’s Bill. Many argue – citing the Scottish independence referendum – that it would provide a democratic stimulus. Yet the evidence for that is lacking, say Andy Mycock (University of […]

Inheritance, patriarchy, the social contract: the perils of invoking ‘generation’ in politics

Inheritance, patriarchy, the social contract: the perils of invoking ‘generation’ in politics

Generation is a pivotal concept in contemporary politics, but not enough attention is paid to the way in which it operates ideologically. Ben Little and Alison Winch explain the different meanings of generation in political culture – which originated when Edmund Burke invoked the concept to bind people to the state – and highlight the tension between them. […]

The Citizens’ Assembly on Brexit: reflections on the first weekend

The Citizens’ Assembly on Brexit: reflections on the first weekend

The Citizens’ Assembly on Brexit – a gathering of randomly-selected people who will learn about the options for the form Brexit should take – has just begun its work. The project’s director Alan Renwick (UCL Constitution Unit) offers some initial, personal reflections on a highly successful first weekend. Similar PostsThe Brex Factor: how a citizens’ assembly on […]

Book review | Radicals: Outsiders Changing the World, by Jamie Bartlett

Book review | Radicals: Outsiders Changing the World, by Jamie Bartlett

In Radicals: Outsiders Changing the World, Jamie Bartlett probes into the worldviews and lives of individuals, groups and movements who are seeking to change the way we live now and examines their ostensibly radical properties. Bartlett’s natural storytelling abilities, shaped by his sensitive yet probing approach, make for an engaging read. This book inspires both enthusiasm and caution about radical […]

Audit 2017: How far does the growth of social media extend or threaten democratic processes and values? Does it foster or impede greater citizen vigilance and control over government?

Audit 2017: How far does the growth of social media extend or threaten democratic processes and values? Does it foster or impede greater citizen vigilance and control over government?

Social media technologies (such as blogging, Facebook, Twitter, Google, YouTube, Snapchat and Instagram) have brought about radical changes in how the media systems of liberal democracies operate. The platform providers have become powerful actors in the operation of the media system, and in how its links to political processes operate. Yet at the same time […]