Growing up and global austerity: Comparing youth opportunities, aspirations and civic values around the world

LLAKES Research Conference, 27-28 June 2016

This event has been supported generously by the

This event aims to bring together youth researchers to examine if youth opportunities and civic values are evolving in different ways in different parts of the world. It is widely acknowledged that young people have been amongst the hardest hit by the global economic crisis and the subsequent austerity measures that many states instituted. Yet we also know that the challenges that young people experience are not necessarily temporary or crisis-driven; youth opportunities, aspirations and values are also being affected by the changes that have been taking place in our social, economic and civic structures over the past three decades. Combined, these twin challenges mean that for many young people the transition to adulthood has not simply been delayed; it has been fundamentally disrupted.

Against this backdrop, and through a series of inter-disciplinary and empirical research papers, this event will address key questions such as: what does it mean to “grow up” in a time of increasing insecurity and austerity? How are youth opportunities and expectations being changed and challenged by these developments? What impact are these changing opportunities having on youth civic values? And perhaps most importantly, how do youth opportunities, aspirations, and civic values vary in different regions, cultures, and socio-economic strata?

To explore these themes, this event will bring together research papers from diverse contexts such as the UK, the US, India, East Asia, Sub-Saharan Africa, and the Middle East and North Africa (MENA). These countries and regions have different histories, institutional structures, and cultures, but all have youth populations that are facing considerable challenges, and all have experiences of population flows (inward or outward) that are presenting further (and wider) societal challenges. By comparing and contrasting the experiences of youth in these diverse contexts, we will also address an important question: does it make sense to speak of a global crisis for contemporary youth?

The is now available.

The following presentations from the conference are now available:

The United States

Southern Europe


Comparative Perspectives

Keynote Lecture:

       Professor Ingrid Schoon, UCL-Institute of Education

Northern Europe

  • Right and wrong citizens: the reconfiguration of citizenship as patriotic duty in contemporary Russia            Professor Hilary Pilkington, University of Manchester and Professor Elena Omelchenko, Higher School of Economics, Russia

South and East Asia