Making the Future: Homo Promptus and the Political

  • Rosalyn BlackEmail author
  • Lucas Walsh
Part of the Perspectives on Children and Young People book series (PCYP, volume 9)


Many of the economic trends we have discussed in our previous chapters are also entwined with political change, of which Brexit and the election of US President Donald Trump are two of the most recent and most dramatic examples. This change is adding to the destabilisation of political orthodoxies in ways that have immediate implications for the mobility and security of many young people and that exacerbate the growing distance between young people and political representatives that we have explored in our previous book (Walsh and Black 2018b). The emergence of post-truth politics is further adding to this destabilisation, unsettling the very foundations of public discourse and the ability of governments (and citizens) to respond to pressing changes. It is also fostering a complex environment of hyperbole which brings into sharp focus the role of affect in contemporary politics and young people’s response to them.


  1. Alteri, L., Leccardi, C., & Raffini, L. (2017). Youth and the reinvention of politics. New forms of participation in the age of individualization and presentification. Partecipazione e Conflitto, 9(3), 717–747.
  2. Amnå, E., & Ekman, J. (2014). Standby citizens: Diverse faces of political passivity. European Political Science Review, 6(2), 261–281. Scholar
  3. Andersson, E. (2015). Situational political socialization: A normative approach to young people’s adoption and acquisition of political preferences and skills. Journal of Youth Studies, 18(8), 967–983. Scholar
  4. Banaji, S., & Mejias, S. (2017, June 27). Story of a vote unforetold: Young people, youth activism and the UK general election. Polis. Retrieved 5 July 2017, from
  5. Birch, S. (2016). Our new voters: Brexit, political mobilisation and the emerging electoral cleavage. Juncture, 23(2), 107–110. Scholar
  6. Brooks, R., Byford, K., & Sela, K. (2015). The changing role of students’ unions within contemporary higher education. Journal of Education Policy, 30(2), 165–181. Scholar
  7. Cammaerts, B., Bruter, M., Banaji, S., Harrison, S., & Anstead, N. (2014). The myth of youth apathy: Young Europeans’ critical attitudes toward democratic life. American Behavioral Scientist, 58(5), 645–664. Scholar
  8. Castle, S. (2016, June 6). Choosing ‘Brexit’ could leave the Kingdom less united. New York Times. Retrieved July 7, 2016, from
  9. Catholic News Agency. (2018, May 22). 125,000 additional Irish register to vote on abortion referendum. Crux. Retrieved May 30, 2018, from
  10. Coe, A.-B., Wiklund, M., Uttjek, M., & Nygren, L. (2016). Youth politics as multiple processes: How teenagers construct political action in Sweden. Journal of Youth Studies, 19(10), 1321–1337. Scholar
  11. EBU. (n.d.). Generation what? Young people and optimism: A pan-European view. Geneva: EBU.Google Scholar
  12. Enfield, N. (2017, November 17). We’re in a post-truth world with eroding trust and accountability. It can’t end well. The Guardian. Retrieved November 19, 2017, from
  13. Erlanger, S. (2016, November 10). ‘Brexit’ proved to be sign of things to come in U.S. New York Times. Retrieved November 15, 2017, from
  14. Farthing, R. (2010). The politics of youthful antipolitics: Representing the ‘issue’ of youth participation in politics. Journal of Youth Studies, 13(2), 181–195. Scholar
  15. Giuffrida, A. (2018, February 27). ‘There is no long-term vision’: young Italians lose faith in politics. The Guardian. Retrieved March 3, 2018, from
  16. Gotlieb, M. R., & Thorson, K. (2017). Connected political consumers: Transforming personalized politics among youth into broader repertoires of action. Journal of Youth Studies, 20(8), 1044–1061. Scholar
  17. Hanson, F. (2012). The Lowy Institute Poll 2012. Australia and New Zealand in the World: Public Opinion and Foreign Policy. Retrieved December 3, 2017, from
  18. Henn, M., & Foard, N. (2014). Social differentiation in young people’s political participation: The impact of social and educational factors on youth political engagement in Britain. Journal of Youth Studies, 17(3), 360–380. Scholar
  19. Henn, M., & Oldfield, B. (2016). Cajoling or coercing: Would electoral engineering resolve the young citizen–state disconnect? Journal of Youth Studies, 19(9), 1259–1280. Scholar
  20. Henn, M., Oldfield, B., & Hart, J. (2017). Postmaterialism and young people’s political participation in a time of austerity. The British Journal of Sociology, 69(3), 712–737. Scholar
  21. Ipsos (2016). Is the system broken? International views. IPSOS Game Changers December 2016. Retrieved October 11, 2018, from
  22. Ipsos. (2017). Ipsos 2017 Global Trends: Fragmentation, cohesion and uncertainty. Retrieved October 11, 2018, from
  23. Ipsos. (2018). Goalkeepers global youth outlook poll. Retrieved September 27, 2018, from
  24. International Youth Foundation [IYF]. (2017). 2017 global youth wellbeing index. Retrieved March 3, 2018, from
  25. Kovacic, M., & Dolenec, D. (2018). Youth participation in eastern Europe in the age of austerity. In S. Pickard & J. Bessant (Eds.), Young people re-generating politics in times of crises (pp. 375–394). Cham: Springer International Publishing.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. Martelli, A. (2013). The debate on young people and participatory citizenship. Questions and research prospects. International Review of Sociology, 23(2), 421–437.Google Scholar
  27. Martin, A. (2014). Political engagement among the young in Australia. Papers on Parliament, 60. Retrieved November 19, 2017, from
  28. McLeod, J. (2016). Memory, affective practice and teacher narratives: Researching emotion in oral histories of educational and personal change. In M. Zembylas & P. A. Schutz (Eds.), Methodological advances in research on emotion and education (pp. 273–284). Cham, Switzerland: Springer.Google Scholar
  29. Monticelli, L., & Bassoli, M. (2017). Precarious voices? Types of “political citizens” and repertoires of action among European youth. Partecipazione e Conflitto, 9(3), 824–856. Scholar
  30. New York Times. (2016, November 8). Election 2016: Exit polls. New York Times. Retrieved November 28, 2016, from
  31. Newman, J. (2015, June 3). Austerity, aspiration and the politics of hope. Compass. Retrieved February 23, 2017, from
  32. O’Carroll, L., & Baker, S. (2018, May 21). Irish abortion referendum: voters on both sides prepare to head home. The Guardian. Retrieved May 31, 2018, from
  33. Oliver, A. (2017a). The Lowy Institute poll 2017: Understanding Australian attitudes to the world. Retrieved March 1, 2018, from
  34. Oliver, A. (2017b). Same-sex marriage survey: Gen Y got involved and the pollsters got it right. Retrieved March 1, 2018, from
  35. Pickard, S. (2018). Momentum and the movementist ‘Corbynistas’: Young people regenerating the labour party in Britain. In S. Pickard & J. Bessant (Eds.), Young people re-generating politics in times of crises (pp. 115–137). Cham: Springer International Publishing.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  36. Pickard, S., & Bessant, J. (2018). Introduction. In S. Pickard & J. Bessant (Eds.), Young people re-generating politics in times of crises (pp. 1–17). Cham: Springer International Publishing.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  37. Pilkington, H., & Pollock, G. (2015). ‘Politics are bollocks’: Youth, politics and activism in contemporary Europe. The Sociological Review, 63(2_suppl), 1–35.Google Scholar
  38. Reynolds, E. (2017, October 3). Women and youth drive same-sex marriage vote. Retrieved October 7, 2017, from
  39. Rheingans, R., & Hollands, R. (2013). ‘There is no alternative?’: Challenging dominant understandings of youth politics in late modernity through a case study of the 2010 UK student occupation movement. Journal of Youth Studies, 16(4), 546–564. Scholar
  40. Seippel, Ø., & Strandbu, Å. (2017). Populist political right opinions and political trust among Norwegian youth. Journal of Youth Studies, 20(4), 415–429. Scholar
  41. Shuster, S. (2016, June 26). The U.K.’s old decided for the young in the Brexit vote. Time Magazine. Retrieved November 28 2016, from
  42. Sloam, J. (2016). Diversity and voice: The political participation of young people in the European Union. The British Journal of Politics and International Relations, 18(3), 521–537. Scholar
  43. Soler-i-Martí, R. (2015). Youth political involvement update: Measuring the role of cause-oriented political interest in young people’s activism. Journal of Youth Studies, 18(3), 396–416. Scholar
  44. Stefanou, E. (2016, June 25). ‘What do young people think about Brexit?’. The Guardian. Retrieved December 3, 2016, from
  45. Stone, J. (2017, December 17). Brexit lies: The demonstrably false claims of the EU referendum campaign. The Independent 2017. Retrieved March 2, 2018, from
  46. Sukarieh, M., & Tannock, S. (2014). Youth rising?: The politics of youth in the global economy. New York: Routledge.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  47. Tilly, C. (2004). Contention and democracy in Europe, 1650–2000. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.Google Scholar
  48. Walsh, L., & Black, R. (2018a). Off the radar democracy: young people’s alternate acts of citizenship in Australia. In S. Pickard & J. Bessant (Eds.), Youth politics in crisis: New forms of political participation in the austerity era (pp. 217–232). Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan.Google Scholar
  49. Walsh, L., & Black, R. (2018b). Rethinking youth citizenship after the age of entitlement. London: Bloomsbury.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Nature Singapore Pte Ltd. 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.School of EducationDeakin UniversityBurwoodAustralia
  2. 2.Faculty of EducationMonash UniversityClaytonAustralia

Personalised recommendations