© 2019

Politics, Protest and Young People

Political Participation and Dissent in 21st Century Britain


Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages i-xviii
  2. Terminology, Concepts and Debates in Young People’s Political Participation

  3. Young People, Political Parties and Electoral Participation

  4. Young People and Non-electoral Political Participation

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 351-351
    2. Sarah Pickard
      Pages 353-373
    3. Sarah Pickard
      Pages 407-444
    4. Sarah Pickard
      Pages 467-481
  5. Back Matter
    Pages 483-501

About this book


Sarah Pickard offers a detailed and wide-ranging assessment of electoral and non-electoral political participation of young people in contemporary Britain, drawing on perspectives and insights from youth studies, political science and political sociology.  

This comprehensive book enquires into the approaches used by the social sciences to understand young people’s politics and documents youth-led evolutions in political behaviour. After unpicking key concepts including ‘political participation,’ ‘generations,’ the ‘political life-cycle,’ and the ‘youth vote,’ Pickard draws on a combination of quantitative and qualitative research to trace the dynamics operating in electoral political participation since the 1960s. This includes the relationship between political parties, politicians and young people, youth and student wings of political parties, electoral behaviour and the lowering of the voting age to 16. Pickard goes on to discuss personalised engagement through what she calls young people’s (DIO) Do-It-Ourselves political participation in online and offline connected collectives. The book then explores young people’s political dissent as part of a global youth-led wave of protest.

This holistic book will appeal to anyone with an interest in young people, politics, protest and political change.


Democracy General elections Political activism Political engagement Millennials Students Voting Youth politics

Authors and affiliations

  1. 1.Université Sorbonne NouvelleParisFrance

About the authors

Sarah Pickard is Senior Lecturer and Researcher at the Université Sorbonne Nouvelle, France. Her research addresses the interplay between young people, youth policy, political participation and protest in contemporary Britain.  

Bibliographic information


“This makes Politics, Protest and Young People not only relevant to students, academics and researchers within the fields of youth studies, sociology and political science; politicians, too, will find much to be gleaned from this book. … I therefore encourage youth sociologists to pick up the baton and build on Pickard’s superbly informative book by conducting interviews in which young people narrate their experiences of political participation and dissent in twenty-first century Britain.” (Julius Elster, Journal of Applied Youth Studies, Vol. 3, 2020)