PARTISPACE: Evidence paper 8: Socialist youth, Manchester

Year of production: 2018

This case concerns two groups that overlap both in terms of the composition of the group and the kind of activities developed. One concerns the Manchester branch of a socialist party, where most of the members are young people, due partly to the high student population of the city. The socialist students, on the other hand, are the student wing of a socialist party, and its activities are developed within the Students’ Unions of two of universities. The group meets every week to discuss contemporary political issues and historical events, against the background of Marxian theory.

In the words of former chair of the group the point of the group is to “have a group discussion, having good theory’’, making this group “based on theory”: “we like to talk about Marxist history theory”; as well as current issues such as the refugee crisis, the American elections, Brexit, the Prevent Agenda, the National Student Survey, etc. The group is also engaged in political activism, by organising and participating in public protests and events (e.g. against austerity, against sexual harassment), as well as supporting working class initiatives (e.g., the strikes in NHS).



The PARTISPACE project provides empirical knowledge on how to broaden the concepts of participation. The core of this knowledge lies in relating individual biographies of young people and the social spaces in which they act in order to understand the meaning of participation from their perspective.