NYRIS11 focuses on youth as a global and local construction. In the highly globalised and technologised world the concepts of local and global are increasingly inter-related. Young people make sense of their world in a context where local decisions have global consequences and the global issues influence the local. The global economical power structures are more and more decisive both in local decision making of child and youth politics and in the everyday lives of young people. Communities and cultures of young people are not solely connected to national political institutions and traditions. Youth cultures and lifestyles are lived in and created in local and global contexts. We need new concepts of citizenship and civic culture, which are sensitive to economic, social and individual dimensions as they are constructed locally and globally.
Youth research has seldom focused on youth as a global construction, or considered how the understanding of youth varies according to transnational localities. This concern can also be posed to youth research itself as a multidisciplinary field of research: how global is youth research theoretically, methodologically, epistemologically and ethically? How does youth research take into consideration the challenges posed by globalization on one hand and the increasingly fragmented and localized youth cultures on the other? NYRIS11 seeks to highlight the multiple tensions embedded in the contemporary understandings of childhood and youth by paying attention at questions, such as generational power relationships, age-related categorizations of youth and gendered power dynamics. Questions concerning in/equalities of young people between nations-states, new civic cultures and geopolitical contexts will also be on the focus.
Human rights provide an important context for global youth. The concept of rights can be seen as a tool for promoting equality, justice and well being of young people as citizens in the democratic decision making processes. However, at the same time the discourse of rights has implications and consequences that are seldom discussed. Whose rights and responsibilities do we mean, when we talk about the rights of children and young people in the globalizing world? How does the discourse of rights constitute young people as social, cultural, historical and moral agents? Or does the focus on rights rather construct young people as objects of policy interventions? Does the strengthening trend of young people’s rights (cultural, social, political, economic etc.) acknowledge generational and peer group relations and social inequalities? In NYRIS11 young people’s rights will be approached from a multidimensional viewpoint by welcoming discussion on the questions of recognition, responsibilities, agency and obligations among many other topics.