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Deliberation Models Featuring Youth Participation

The article addresses the importance of youth participation in societal and institutional decision-making, by particularly analysing the shift from the illusion of participation ( tokenism) to genuine youth influence.

The authors pose deliberative democracy as a model to build bridges between youth and decision-makers. This concrete approach offers a platform for youth and adults to engage in a learning process as equal citizens and proactive leaders. Deliberative democracy can be understood as an umbrella term for different models of public deliberation. These models attempt to create carefully detailed conditions for increasing the legitimacy of decisions made through deliberation. Deliberative models that feature youth participation include youth juries, dialogue days between young people and decision-makers, and adult-youth participatory forums where the youth voice is usually a minority.

The paper explores the role of relationships, collaboration, and leadership in generating democratic spaces for the inclusion of youth in policy formation and reform. The challenges associated with engaging youth are discussed along with examples of models from Australia, Finland, Canada, and the United States that promote effective youth engagement.

Authors

Denise Bulling

Denise Bulling, PhD is a Senior Research Director at the University of Nebraska at Lincoln | NU · Public Policy Center, USA.

Lyn Carson

Lyn Carson, PhD is a Professor at the the University of Sydney · Faculty of Business (Business School), USA

Mark DeKraai

Mark B. Dekraai, PhD, JD is a Senior Research Director at the University of Nebraska at Lincoln | NU · Public Policy Center, USA.

Alexis Garcia

Alexis Garcia, MA is a consultant and researcher on the subjects of dialogue, change management, and democratic and inclusive governance in Montreal, Quebec, Canada.

Harri Raisio

Harri Raisio, PhD is an Assistant Professor in Social and Health Management at the University of Vaasa, Finland.