A Handbook of Children and Young People's Participation : Perspectives from Theory and Practice book cover
1st Edition

A Handbook of Children and Young People's Participation
Perspectives from Theory and Practice

ISBN 9780415468527
Published September 17, 2009 by Routledge
404 Pages

SAVE ~ $14.09
was $46.95
USD $32.87

Prices & shipping based on shipping country


Book Description

A Handbook of Children and Young People's Participation brings together key thinkers and practitioners from diverse contexts across the globe to provide an authoritative overview of contemporary theory and practice around children’s participation.

Promoting the participation of children and young people – in decision-making and policy development, and as active contributors to everyday family and community life – has become a central part of policy and programme initiatives in both majority and minority worlds. This book presents the most useful recent work in children’s participation as a resource for academics, students and practitioners in childhood studies, children’s rights and welfare, child and family social work, youth and community work, governance, aid and development programmes.

The book introduces key concepts and debates, and presents a rich collection of accounts of the diverse ways in which children’s participation is understood and enacted around the world, interspersed with reflective commentaries from adults and young people. It concludes with a number of substantial theoretical contributions that aim to take forward our understanding of children’s participation.

The emphasis throughout the text is on learning from the complexity of children’s participation in practice to improve our theoretical understanding, and on using those theoretical insights to challenge practice, with the aim of realising children’s rights and citizenship more fully.

Table of Contents

Introduction, Nigel Thomas and Barry Percy-Smith  Part One: Children’s Participation: progress and challenges  1.The realisation of children’s participation rights, Gerison Lansdown  2.Challenges of participatory practice with children, Karen Malone and Catherine Hartung  3.Children’s participation in Bangladesh, Sarah C. White and Shyamol A. Choudhury Part Two: Learning about Children’s Participation in PracticeContexts for practicei) Working in particular situations  4.Children's participation in armed conflict and post-conflict peace building, Clare Feinstein, Annette Giertsen and Claire O’Kane  5. The participation of children living in the poorest and most difficult situations, Patricia Ray  6.Dikwankwetla - Children in action: children's participation in law reform process in South Africa, Lucy Jamieson and Wanjiru Mukoma  Contexts for practice ii) Working with particular groups  7.Younger children’s individual participation in 'all matters affecting the child' Priscilla Alderson  8.Disabled children and participation in the UK, Kate Martin and Anita Franklin  9.Participation among young people with mental health issues, Ann Dadich  10.Advocacy for children in family group conferences, Perpetua Kirby and Sophie Laws  Contexts for practice iii) Working in particular cultural contexts  11.Questioning understandings of children’s participation, Jan Mason and Natalie Bolzan  12.The construction of childhood and the socialisation of children in Ghana, Afua Twum-Danso  13.Youth participation in indigenous traditional communities, Yolanda Corona Caraveo, Carlos Perez and Julián Hernández Approaches to practice i) Methods and frameworks  14.Rights through evaluation and understanding children’s realities, Vicky Johnson  15.Children’s participation in school and community, Renate Kränzl-Nagl and Ulrike Zartler  16.Building towards effective participation, Tiina Sotkasiira, Lotta Haikkola and Liisa Horelli  17.Getting the measure of children and young people’s participation, Anne Crowley and Anna Skeels Approaches to practice ii) Strategies and practices  18.Challenging obstacles to the participation of children and young people in Rwanda, Kirrily Pells  19.Child reporters as agents of change, Lalatendu Acharya  20.‘Pathways to participation’ revisited, Harry Shier  21.The London Secondary School Councils Action research project, Hiromi Yamashita and Lynn Davies  Approaches to practice iii) Spaces and structures  22.Children’s participation in citizenship and governance, Sara Austin  23.Appraising the effectiveness of Youth Councils in Scotland, Brian McGinley and Ann Grieve  24.A critique of youth parliaments as models of representation for marginalised young people, Alan Turkie  25.Nil desperandum as long as you carpe diem, Jack Lewars  26.Participation in a youth organisation in Turkey, Fahriye Hazer Sancar and Yucel Can Severcan  Part Three: New Theoretical Perspectives  27.Children’s participation as a struggle over recognition, Robyn Fitzgerald, Anne Graham, Anne Smith and Nicola Taylor  28.Children and deliberative democracy, Tom Cockburn 29.Governance and participation, E. Kay Tisdall  30.After participation: the socio-spatial performance of intergenerational becoming, Greg Mannion 31.Children as active citizens: an agenda for children’s civil rights and civic engagement, Joachim Theis  Conclusion: Emerging themes and new directions, Barry Percy-Smith and Nigel Thomas

View More



Barry Percy-Smith is Reader in Childhood and Participatory Practice at the SOLAR Action Research Centre, University of the West of England, Bristol, UK. He has extensive experience using participatory and ‘whole system’ action inquiry approaches in research, evaluation and development projects with children, young people, practitioners and policy makers. He is Coordinator of the Children’s Participation Learning Network, an international forum for critical debate about children and young people’s participation, and has published and presented numerous papers on the subject.

Nigel Thomas is Professor of Childhood and Youth Research at the University of Central Lancashire, UK, and Co-Director of The Centre, which exists to promote and research children and young people’s participation, inclusion and empowerment. He has twenty years’ experience of social work practice and has taught and researched extensively in the field of children’s welfare, rights and participation.


‘This landmark book reveals how much our understanding of children’s right to participate has grown in the twenty years since the launch of the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child. It is a basic resource for anyone who believes in children's rights and capacities as citizens.' - Roger A. Hart, City University of New York, USA

The Handbook will be an essential resource for anyone embarking on a child participation initiative as well as for students and scholars in childhood research and children’s rights.' - Martin Woodhead, Open University, UK

'The contributors to this ambitious and extremely accessible volume on children’s participation are to be congratulated for their ground-breaking work...The Handbook is an essential read for scholars, policy-makers, practitioners and children's rights advocates.' - Jo Boyden, University of Oxford, UK

"I found this volume very informative and intellectually stimulating. The phenomena described and the issues debated are indeed familiar. This Handbook is well worth a careful reading, and I recommend it with enthusiasm."—Social Work with Groups