Untapped Resources Problems and Possibilities Pertaining to Meaningful Youth Participation
Within traditional political and social arenas the voice of young people is rarely heard and taken into meaningful consideration. The world has dramatically changed and is constantly changing yet our system of political participation has remained virtually the same for more than a century. To better meet the demands of a true democratic society, new methods and mechanisms need to be developed to better incorporate the voices of all citizens. Young people, especially, posses unique viewpoints, characteristics and abilities that should be utilised within the realms of power. Young people should be viewed as partners and solutions rather than problems that need to be treated. Through theories of social representation, power and empowerment this study examines explanations and remedies for the current state of youth representation. The empirical basis that this study is founded upon consists of six qualitative interviews as well as a sampling of international laws and agreements concerning youth participation. I also present specifically a youth-run NGO as a best-practice example of how young people can become involved and participate meaningfully in political and civil decision-making processes.