Extreme Need of the Good Life Model for Young People to Avoid Extremists

It is apparent that young people are the target of extremist groups, because they are the most vulnerable and easy to radicalise. During a person’s adolescent and teenage years they are very impressionable to the world around them. The most important thing for most of these adolescents is to find a place to fit in. It is the period of time where they want to be independent but they still have to rely on their parents and the thoughts of their peers; they do not know which way to go. All they want is to think freely, but social and economic pressures make it difficult for them to discover who they are and what they want. Their minds are so malleable that they make the perfect prey for terror groups to spread their ideology. By creating an exclusive subculture, extremists make their targets feel like they are important; their opinions are finally heard and deemed valuable. How can we avoid this? How can we save our youth before they are in trouble? There will never be one definite answer, however, emphasis on the Good Life Model (GLM) in schools and everyday life has great potential to strengthen the minds of the vulnerable and halt radicalisation. The GLM focuses on creating a balanced and well dignified life for not only young people, but all people. However, it is essential that a young person is raised in the values that it upholds so he or she can be confident in their trade and pass on their knowledge. It is human nature to want to succeed in life. There is nothing quite...
A Lesson Learnt from Brexit

A Lesson Learnt from Brexit

I was one of the 75% of 18-24 year olds who voted to remain in the European Union. That means I’m one of the 36% of 18-24 year olds who turned up to cast their ballot on 23rd June last year. These two statistics don’t sit comfortably together for me. The UK voted to leave by a narrow margin, 51.9% to 48.1%; had young people gone to the polls and made their voice heard might there have been a different outcome? We are now facing the greatest political upheaval of recent history. The UK is entering into a complex and lengthy negotiation process; there is simultaneously so much at stake and so little certainty. Whatever the outcome it is young people that will feel the consequences the longest. It is estimated that young people will have to live with the decision of the referendum for an average of 69 years. This makes the referendum the arguably the most significant political event of my generations lifetime, but one where the majority of young people did not vote. While a staggering 90% of those over the age of 65 voted in the EU referendum, a group that were overwhelmingly leave. A vote represents a chance to secure or change the future of how your country is governed. The upcoming election will determine the direction of UK policy, including how Brexit is implemented. However young people are massively under represented on the electoral register and youth turnout at elections is the lowest in Europe (among the 15 old EU members). With young people are not turning up to vote is it any...
The American Election Taught Me the Power of the Youth Vote

The American Election Taught Me the Power of the Youth Vote

As an American, I eagerly stayed up the night of the 2016 election, anxiously awaiting the results to come out. It was a divisive and hotly contended election, and by all accounts one of the most important in recent memory. Now, here in the U.K., I’m seeing a parallel election begin to shape up, one which will shape the future of Britain for a long time to come. There were plenty of lessons I learned from watching the 2016 U.S. election, but one of the most powerful was how far the country had to go in terms of civic participation from young people. That’s not to disparage the turnout we did have. According to Tufts university’s Center for Information and Research on Civic Learning and Engagement (CIRCLE), an impressive 50% of citizens between 18 and 29 turned out to vote. What’s more impressive is how much of an impact Millennials had on the  election, and how close we came to altering its outcome. Millennials supported Clinton significantly more than Trump, and in several critical states the Millennials almost pushed Clinton to victory. A slightly higher millennial turnout may have altered the result of the election. Now, as Britain approaches its own pivotal election, I see a major parallel here. British Millennials, like their American counterparts, have a whole array of issues which are unique to them, and like youth from across the world, they are the ones who will have to live with the long-term results of the election. Given the powerful role us youths were able to play in the American election, it stands to reason that young...
Press Release: IARS 4th Research and Youth Leadership Awards Winners 2015 Announced

Press Release: IARS 4th Research and Youth Leadership Awards Winners 2015 Announced

14 Young Role Models and youth projects were recognised for their roles in our communities Around 100 young people, representatives of youth organisations attended this year’s IARS Research and Youth Leadership Awards 2015, in partnership with the 99% Campaign that took place last night at the Canada Water Culture Space in London. The Awards, now on its 4th year recognise and champion young people and their initiatives in their communities as drivers for social change. This unique youth-led event, organised by a group of young people involved in the IARS Youth Advisory Board, hosted influential keynote speakers in the field of youth policy and practice, including Howard Williamson CBE FRSA FHEA, Professor of European Youth Policy, University of South Wales, Justin Pettit, Human Rights Officer at the Commonwealth Secretariat, Mak Chisty, Commander for Engagement in the Metropolitan Police Service (MPS) and Mark Parker, I LIVE IN SE16 Coordinator. 14 inspirational young people and projects from up and down the UK were awarded in 7 categories, designed carefully to cover a broad area of truly youth-led projects, skills and competences, supported by leading businesses  and organisations across the UK. The Winners for 2015 are : Youth Research Project Award – Sponsored by Buckinghamshire New University Winner: Eloise Peabody Rolf – The ‘Volunteer’s Perspective’ of the Hampshire Community Peer Court programme Runner Up: Karolina Kombert: Young people, homelessness, UK welfare reform and food poverty in Scotland, published in the Youth Voice Journal. Community Leader Award – Sponsored by  Community Action Southwark Winners: Kike Ibikunle and Ijeoma Datha-Moore for their contributions to the Just for Kids Law team as volunteers and ambassadors. Runner Up: Jack Samuel David Wilson for his exemplar campaigning...
Political disengagement and socioeconomic inequality: the case for compulsory voting

Political disengagement and socioeconomic inequality: the case for compulsory voting

Author: Christine Liang is an Australian-Chinese living in London with an interest in public policy and political philosophy. She is a BSc Politics and Philosophy graduate from the London School of Economics, currently studying an MMus in Violin at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama. With the 2015 General Election approaching, the problem of rising political disengagement and low voter turnout has been discussed extensively, particularly with respect to young voters. Such trends urge us to consider the factors that drive political disengagement and what, on a public policy level, can be done to address these issues. Compulsory voting could have many potential benefits, most notably raising turnout levels, and, compensating for the social, political and economic obstacles which may prevent people from voting. High levels of popular engagement with national elections are desirable in representative democracies as they tend to produce governments and policies which are more representative of the electorate, and subsequently, are viewed as more legitimate. Hence, voter turnout levels are important in assessing the health of a democracy. Worldwide, electoral turnout has been on a steady decline. Average voter turnout has dropped from 73% in the mid-1980s to less than 65% by the early 2000s.[1] In the UK, the sharpest decline in turnout has been amongst young voters aged 18 – 24, at an average of 43.5% between the 2001 and 2010 General Election.[2] To increase turnout, some countries have adopted compulsory voting, where citizens are legally obliged to vote in government elections or may face punitive measures such as fines or community service. Amongst these countries are Australia, Belgium, Luxembourg and Brazil. Compulsory voting is extremely...
Editorial: Hope is Coming(?)

Editorial: Hope is Coming(?)

Picture credit: Flickr/Lorenzo Gaudenzi. Some rights reserved. Author note: Harry Blain is the editor-in-chief of the 99% Campaign. On 6 December, 2008, unarmed fifteen-year-old protester Alexandros Grigoropoulos was shot dead by police in Athens. His death provoked two weeks of the most violent rioting in recent Greek history, as young people – from the unemployed, underemployed and angry, to middle-class graduates abhorred by the corruption of their political rulers – clashed with police, in street battles punctuated by thousands of tear gas canisters and riot gear on one side, and Molotov cocktails on the other. On the day of his murder, Grigoropoulous was with his friend, Nikos Romanos – another fifteen-year-old schoolboy celebrating his name-day (the day after whom his patron saint is named). In the five years following his friend’s death, Romanos has witnessed the austerity policies imposed by the “Troika” of the International Monetary Fund (IMF), European Central Bank (ECB) and EU ravage Greece’s public services, shrink its economy by 25%, drive up unemployment and poverty, and devastate the life prospects of an entire generation. In December last year, Romanos was on hunger strike: imprisoned for his part in a bank robbery and beaten by police, he was “demanding his statutory right” to attend university courses at the School of Business Administration in Athens. Romanos finally won his right to attend his classes, but his story is a powerful symbol of Greece’s social and economic crisis. The oft-discussed “biggest bailout in history” has not gone to the people of Greece, but instead to the banks and private investors who recklessly lent to the Greek government; “vulture funds”...