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Students as political actors? Similarities and differences across six European nations

Students as political actors? Similarities and differences across six European nations
Students as political actors? Similarities and differences across six European nations
Drawing on data from students, higher education staff and policymakers from six European countries, this article argues that it remains a relatively common assumption that students should be politically engaged. However, while students articulated a strong interest in a wide range of political issues, those working in higher education and influencing higher education policy tended to believe that students were considerably less politically active than their predecessors. Moreover, while staff and policy influencers typically conceived of political engagement in terms of collective action, articulated through common reference to the absence of a ‘student movement’ or unified student voice, students’ narratives tended not to valorise ‘student movements’ in the same way and many categorised as ‘political’ action they had taken alone and/or with a small number of other students. Alongside these broad commonalities across Europe, the article also evidences some key differences between nation-states, institutions and disciplines. In this way, it contributes to the comparative literature on young people’s political engagement specifically, as well as wider debates about the ways in which higher education students are understood.
0141-1926
1193-1209
Brooks, Rachel
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Gupta, Achala
a30fa79d-e9dc-4237-93d4-bdaf8816780a
Jayadeva, Sazana
aa3b53f0-7785-4be9-ac2c-6dd16049adc3
Abrahams, Jessica
d346cf42-ac33-4ca0-99a8-ba7b1ba52b53
Lažetić, Predrag
dd2d07ce-8465-4711-a886-8eb6783a0f43
Brooks, Rachel
e38ef734-6d0d-4d86-b2d8-909831b67619
Gupta, Achala
a30fa79d-e9dc-4237-93d4-bdaf8816780a
Jayadeva, Sazana
aa3b53f0-7785-4be9-ac2c-6dd16049adc3
Abrahams, Jessica
d346cf42-ac33-4ca0-99a8-ba7b1ba52b53
Lažetić, Predrag
dd2d07ce-8465-4711-a886-8eb6783a0f43

Brooks, Rachel, Gupta, Achala, Jayadeva, Sazana, Abrahams, Jessica and Lažetić, Predrag (2020) Students as political actors? Similarities and differences across six European nations. British Educational Research Journal, 46 (6), 1193-1209. (doi:10.1002/berj.3628).

Record type: Article

Abstract

Drawing on data from students, higher education staff and policymakers from six European countries, this article argues that it remains a relatively common assumption that students should be politically engaged. However, while students articulated a strong interest in a wide range of political issues, those working in higher education and influencing higher education policy tended to believe that students were considerably less politically active than their predecessors. Moreover, while staff and policy influencers typically conceived of political engagement in terms of collective action, articulated through common reference to the absence of a ‘student movement’ or unified student voice, students’ narratives tended not to valorise ‘student movements’ in the same way and many categorised as ‘political’ action they had taken alone and/or with a small number of other students. Alongside these broad commonalities across Europe, the article also evidences some key differences between nation-states, institutions and disciplines. In this way, it contributes to the comparative literature on young people’s political engagement specifically, as well as wider debates about the ways in which higher education students are understood.

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Accepted/In Press date: 18 May 2020
e-pub ahead of print date: 18 May 2020
Published date: 1 December 2020

Identifiers

Local EPrints ID: 451105
URI: http://eprints.soton.ac.uk/id/eprint/451105
ISSN: 0141-1926
PURE UUID: 148ac6b3-209b-42d8-8d74-cacef29a4bae
ORCID for Achala Gupta: ORCID iD orcid.org/0000-0002-3172-8198

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Date deposited: 07 Sep 2021 16:35
Last modified: 23 Jul 2022 02:29

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Contributors

Author: Rachel Brooks
Author: Achala Gupta ORCID iD
Author: Sazana Jayadeva
Author: Jessica Abrahams
Author: Predrag Lažetić

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