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Learning from Political Sociology: Structure, Agency and Inclusive Governance

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image of The International Journal of Children's Rights

In this article, we consider the inclusion of children and young people in participatory governance processes. Whilst limitations are often evident in such processes, we argue that even participatory opportunities that are provided by the state and regarded as spaces into which citizens are invited can be "conquered by civil society demands for inclusion" (Cornwall and Coelho, 2006: 1). To this end, we suggest a practice-based and diachronic approach to studying the interactions between participatory structures and children and young people's agency. Being attentive to the agency of children and young people, and adopting a more diachronic approach to evaluating participatory initiatives, point to the possibility, we suggest, of seeing these relationships unfold in sometimes unexpected ways.

Affiliations: 1: Lecturer in Sociology, University of Birmingham; 2: Research Fellow in Sociology, University of Birmingham


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