Becoming Active Citizens

Disadvantages in becoming active citizens 


The focus of this working group is on how being a disadvantaged youth influences the opportunities and experiences of learning and practicing of active citizenship. We attempt to cover the full range of intersectional disadvantages. We discuss evidence from large-scale surveys and qualitative studies of:

1) factors of educational poverty in citizenship education,

2) impact of segregated educational systems,

3) determinants of civic disengagement and absenteeism,

4) low capability of voice in policy making.

Our working group will elaborate proposals about how existing methodologies can be advanced in order to reflect cross-domain lives and the extended concept of citizenship.


The aims of our Working Group based on the overall objectives of Young-In (and our next three activities) are to:

  • Bridge the gap between youth researchers, political scientists, sociologists and education researchers to measure and understand the relationship between disadvantaged youth and civic engagement
  • Develop a common trans-disciplinary understanding of how to target disadvantaged youth with education and youth work to enhance active citizenship
  • Encourage the sustainability of the network beyond the lifetime of the COST Action through joint research and publications
  • Identify what national and cross-national knowledge already exists on measuring citizenship and identify what new research needs to be implemented in the field of Young-In Action
  • Contribute to public policy debates on youth and education on teaching and learning active citizenship 

Call for papers for WG3 MADRID 13/09/2021

Dear WG-3 members,
We hope all is well with you after the rather challenging past year and a half. We are looking forward to the scenario where we can meet again in person in Madrid. In particular, we look forward to your work and contributions on Working Groups 3 (becoming active citizens). An important theme around which we wish to work further is the theme of inequalities and disparities in citizenship and civic education. We would therefore like to dedicate the next session to the ways in which different forms of inequality (based on socio-economic, ethniccultural, gender,… differences) influence the socialisation process into active citizens withinschools.
We welcome empirical and theoretical contributions on this topic. We would like to invite you to submit a proposal for a presentation in this topic (10-15 minutes presentation of your current research topic plus discussion).
For all the presentations, we accept a proposal with a title and abstract of 250 words. The abstracts should mention the main research question, the used approach/methodology, and main results.
– Proposal submissions by Sunsday, JULY 18th
– Notification of acceptance by Friday, JULY 21st
You can send proposals to:, with in cc.


Our next main three activities for 2019 are:

  1. Working Group 3 meeting (with MCM): Valetta, 19-20 September 2019

The purpose of this meeting is to share the interests of working group members (e.g. knowledge about the running research projects) and research results in the field of civic engagement. We will gather the specific project ideas to connect the group members with the common interests. It will enable to launch the trans-disciplinary teams, which will focus on specific fields in further cooperation within working group.

Outputs of the meeting: creation of the trans-disciplinary teams within the working group.

  1. Conference: London, 26-27 September 2019

Measuring and evaluating the effectiveness of active citizenship education programmes to support disadvantaged youth

The conference target group is early career researchers and PhD students with the aim to support their career development, knowledge and experience in the field of measuring active citizenship. This conference will explore how to measure citizenship (in all its forms). It will discuss how to evaluate the effectiveness of education programmes on citizenship competences and how to overcome the challenges of designing evaluation programmes for non-formal as well as formal education programmes. The conference will examine the distribution of citizenship skills in the population and how to use the large scale international studies, such as the International Civic and Citizenship Study (ICCS), to identify groups of young people who need the education the most. Finally, it will also address the challenges of transferring the recommendations of research on the effectiveness of citizenship education programmes into policy and practice.

Outputs of the conference:  conference report and special issue journal.

  1. Working Group 3 meeting: Brussels, 16-17 December 2019

The purpose of this meeting is to initiate new research projects. We will bring together researchers from WG3 that have specific project ideas tailored to the working group aims. The concept is to offer the time and space to start the research and to discuss the ideas within the group who attends the meeting.

Priority will be given to trans-disciplinary teams who will work on research projects that aim at assessing the effectiveness of citizenship education for disadvantaged young people or who target multiple forms and understanding disadvantage youth.

Outputs of the meeting: collaborative research partnerships from across the Young-in network, outlines of research projects and publication proposals.

Prof. Dimokritos KAVADIAS

Vrije Universiteit Brussel, Brussels, Belgium

Prof. Bryony HOSKINS

Roehampton University, London, United Kingdom