Student Debt and Political Participation

  • Sylvia┬áNissen

Part of the Palgrave Studies in Young People and Politics book series (PSYPP)

Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages i-ix
  2. Sylvia Nissen
    Pages 1-17
  3. Sylvia Nissen
    Pages 19-40
  4. Sylvia Nissen
    Pages 41-61
  5. Sylvia Nissen
    Pages 63-79
  6. Sylvia Nissen
    Pages 81-93
  7. Back Matter
    Pages 95-105

About this book


This book examines how student debt informs the political action and participation of university students. The scale of student debt is unprecedented, particularly in the English-speaking world. In these democracies, debt has become an increasingly integral part of student life for many young people to enable participation in education and the wider economy. Using New Zealand as a case study, the author challenges existent assumptions about student attitudes towards loans by analysing how students speak about the impact of debt on themselves and their peers, including politically. Listening to these perspectives will provide a more nuanced insight into the underlying tensions and challenges of participating politically in a context of rising debt.

Sylvia Nissen is Postdoctoral Fellow in the Department of Political Science and International Relations at the University of Canterbury, New Zealand. Her research focuses on young people, politics and democracy in a context of environmental change She has published a chapter in an international volume, Student Politics and Protest (2017, edited by Rachel Brooks), and contributed to the Journal of Urgent Writing (2017, forthcoming) and New Zealand Sociology (2016).


student debt student experiences public dialogue student loan schemes appraisals of student debt variation in experience risk emotion private responsibility contribution of student debt to inequality economic inequality participation in public life political engagement precautionary principle political agency pragmatism repercussions of student loan debt student debt crisis university education tuition fees

Authors and affiliations

  • Sylvia┬áNissen
    • 1
  1. 1.Lincoln UniversityChristchurchNew Zealand

Bibliographic information

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