New Possibilities: Young People and Democratic Renewal
New possibilities: Young people and democratic renewal


Funded by The Australian Research Council (Discovery Project)

This project will involve working with young people to document and analyse how they participate in politics and to create a unique digital media library and novel resource for democratic renewal. Over three years (2022-2024), the project team will map student climate action around Australia, conduct surveys, social media and legacy media analysis, and in-depth interviews. From this, they will generate case studies, longitudinal and rich insights into what moves young people to become political active and how they are conceptualising and making politics in a time of climate crisis.

The project will enhance knowledge of student politics and their relation to climate change, social and democratic change. It will provide an understanding of how young people understand and respond to complex social, economic, and environmental challenges. The project will also explore how different settings, practices and political commitments move young people to action and the specific role of gender. The project’s findings will be channelled to support democratic participation, teaching and policy-making and enhance young people’s sense of political efficacy, and informed and engaged citizenship. This will support the broader social, cultural and economic outcomes.

Through explaining and amplifying what young people are doing to shape democracy, the project will inform political parties, civil society groups and educators on how to effectively engage with younger people in democratic processes. The project will share research findings via the media library, public reports and a major international workshop with policy-makers, educators, civil society organisations and students.

ARC: DP230101704

Fields of research

Climate Law; Children's Rights and Strategic Litigation

Chief Investigators

Professor Philippa Collin (Western Sydney University)

Professor Judith Bessant (RMIT University)

Dr Michelle Catanzaro (Western Sydney University)

Associate Professor Faith Gordon (The Australian National University)

Dr Stewart Jackson (The University of Sydney)

Professor Robert Watts (RMIT University)

Project start


Project status