LLAKES seminar – Youthquake 2017: The Rise of Young Cosmopolitans in Britain

LLAKES research seminar

Youthquake 2017: The Rise of Young Cosmopolitans in Britain

Speaker: James Sloam
Time: Wednesday 6 November, 12:00 – 13:00
Location: Room 804, Institute of Education, 20 Bedford Way, London

(Lunch included)

Over the past decade, young people have become increasingly politically active. In the aftermath of the financial crisis, they have protested against economic inequalities and the impact of cuts in public spending on their everyday lives. This is particularly true of young people living in urban environments, where a wide range of social and economic problems have become more pronounced.

In this presentation I investigate the everyday politics of young Londoners in relation to ‘sustainable development’. Drawing upon new qualitative and quantitative data (from a collaborative project with the Greater London Authority through (including an N=2,002 survey of 16-24 year olds in London), it highlights the most pressing social, economic and environmental issues.

The research finds that the challenges young Londoners care about are driven by ‘cycles of insecurity’, which are exacerbated by dramatic increases in costs (e.g. higher education, transport) and the withdrawal of support (e.g. housing, mental health) on turning 18. Furthermore, deficits in civic education and youth voice provide major obstacles to enagaing sustainability in public policy.

James Sloam is reader in politics at Royal Holloway University, whose research focuses on the civic and political engagement of young people in Europe and the US. James has published widely in the area of youth, citizenship and politics in Europe and the United States. James’ recent book ‘Youthquake 2017: The Rise of Young Cosmopolitans in Britain’ (co-author, Matt Henn) was published with Palgrave in December 2018. It identifies the rise of cosmopolitan values and environmental politics amongst Young Millennials – particularly, students and young women – in the decade leading up to the 2016 EU referendum and the 2017 General Election. James has engaged with many organisations that seek to increase youth participation in democracy. He is a fellow of the UK All-Party Parliamentary Group on Democratic Participation. In 2016, he authored a chapter on ‘electoral participation’ for the United Nations World Youth Report. James’ recent project for the Greater London Authority investigated the key policy issues for young Londoners with reference to the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals.