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Generative Politics: Youth, Mobilization and the State

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This paper uses research in India to highlight the possibilities of youth politics and vitality of civil society in the global South. We also develop a new theory of generative politics. Generative politics is to be understood as forms of everyday political action that are not primarily about the allocation of scarce resources or competition for goods. More specifically, generative politics refers to practices that entail navigating conflict and building consensus with a view to creating resources for the poor, where “resources” are understood broadly to include social networks, information and confidence as well as jobs, assets and money. The scholarly and public implications of being able to show that young people are involved in generative politics – and also of charting the limits of generative politics and its contradictions – are very significant indeed, enhancing scholarly and public understanding of possibilities for youth mobilization and encouraging powerful institutions to view young people not simply as problems, potentials, voters, or volunteers, but co-creators of democracy.

This talk is part of the Department of Geography - main Departmental seminar series series.

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