Young People as Active Political Citizens

Andrew Lockyer

in Active Citizenship

Published by Edinburgh University Press

Published in print September 2010 | ISBN: 9780748638666
Published online September 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780748671939 | DOI:
Young People as Active Political Citizens

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This chapter looks at the making of young people into active citizens. It begins from the characterisation of ‘children’ as future citizens, citizens now or citizens in-the-making. The concept of political literacy requires the practice of citizenship by children and young people before they have reached the age threshold at which they are in receipt of the full range of adult citizen rights. As such they may be considered to be ‘citizens being-made-active’ and their rights and responsibilities are part of liberal education. There is a case for lowering the voting age to sixteen; it may encourage and promote young people to become politically active and engaged citizens. But this will lower the age at which distinctly children's rights (which recognise their immaturity and vulnerability) are replaced by adult rights and responsibilities, which will entail losses as well as gains. The idea of those below the voting age being citizens in-the-making places obligations on others to assist them to develop their civic capacities.

Keywords: young people; active citizens; political literacy; voting age; children's rights; citizens in-the-making

Chapter.  7090 words. 

Subjects: UK Politics

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