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Children's Perspectives on Citizenship and Nation Building

The collaborative research project on children's perspectives of citizenship and nation building has been a major activity for the Citizenship study group, with research being carried out in Australia, Brazil, New Zealand, Norway, Palestine, South Africa and USA during the period 2003-2009. A book was launched in February 2009, presenting and discussing the findings in a local and global context.

The book entitled Children as Citizens? International Voices was edited by Anne Smith and Nicola Taylor, and has been published by Otago University Press. It includes chapters on the findings in each country involved, as well as methodological and theoretical discussions resulting from the cross-country collaboration.

The group is currently considering the next phase of the citizenship project and are keen to liaise with other Childwatch study groups and Key Institutions who may be interested in collaborating on future work in this field of children’s citizenship and participation.

In the first phase of the project data was gathered through focus group interviews with children and young people. This has given a rich material on children and young people's own perceptions of citizenship and nation building as well as their experiences of lived and aspired rights. The national research teams  presented their findings and discussed issues of comparison at a session on children's citizenship at the Childhoods 2005 Oslo conference held at the Univesity of Oslo, 29 June - 3 July 2005 (program). Notes from the group sessions can be downloaded here>>

Related Activities

2008: The 5th meeting of the Citizenship Study Group was held in Nicosia, Cyprus, May 2008. Minutes from the meeting are available here>>

2007: The Childwatch Citizenship Study Group held their 4th meeting in Dunedin, New Zealand, from 13-15 August 2007. Anne Smith from the University of Otago, New Zealand, presented an introduction and overview of the project and of the national reports with reflections of interesting research issues in each national study in the conference session.

2004: Draft Project Report to the Childwatch International Citizenship Research Network by The University of the Western Cape, South Africa Children’s Perspectives on Rights, Responsibilities, and Citizenship

Annual meetings have been held since 2003. Research has been conducted in all countries involved. The work has been based on the study group proposal developed in 2004.

Childwatch International has been involved in research and activities connected to the issue of children's participation since 1999. The former participation project  continues in the work of the study group on Children's Perception of Citizenship and Nation Building and in the regional network on Children's Participation in the Asia Pacific region. 

Contact Information

Study group co-ordinator for the Citizenship and Nation Building group is:
Nicola Taylor at the University of Otago, Children's Issues Centre

List of Participants

Dr Nicola Taylor (Children’s Issues Centre, New Zeland)  Anne Smith (Children's Issues Centre, New Zealand); Anne Graham, Brad Shipway and Robyn Fitzgerald (CCYP, Australia), Håvard Bjerke (NOSEB, Norway) and Udi Butler (CIESPI, Brazil). Irene Rizzini (CIESPI, Brazil), Anne Trine Kjørholt (NOSEB, Norway), Mohammed Shaheen (Al Quds University, Palestine) and Rose September (University of Western Cape, South Africa).

Resources on Participation and Citizenship 

See our Participation and Citizenship research page


Tags: ["citizenship", "nation building", "participation", "thematic group", "NOSEB", "Children's Issues Centre", "University of Western Cape", "Centre for Children and Young People", "Al Quds University", "CIESPI", "Otago University Press"]
Published July 14, 2008 3:23 PM - Last modified Apr. 17, 2013 3:43 PM