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Promoting Youth Involvement and Social Engagement

Team: Dr. Markus Quandt, Dr. Vera Lomazzi, Dr. Sabine Israel
Leader: Dr. Jo Deakin, University of Manchester
Scientific unit: Datenarchiv für Sozialwissenschaften (DAS)


The objective of PROMISE is to explore young people’s role in shaping society; past, present and future. Young people are often at the forefront of social, cultural and political change, often driven by their energy and creativity, but also by their frustration at the challenges they face. PROMISE aims to investigate young people’s responses to these challenges, and seeks ways to transform this into positive social achievement. Through an understanding of the experiences, values and attitudes of European youth PROMISE will get to the heart of barriers and opportunities for social engagement.

PROMISE focuses specifically on young people ‘in conflict’ with authority, and usually, therefore, in conflict with social norms. We contend that these ‘conflicted youth’ are seen to be the most problematic in terms of positive social engagement, often triggering negative and punitive responses from authority, in turn furthering marginalisation and stigmatisation. The negative effects of stigma and marginalisation reduce opportunities for young people to engage positively in social action, and as a result, much of the creativity, innovation and energy within these groups is directed away from positive social change. PROMISE believes that conflicted youth present significant opportunities for change and should therefore be the prime focus of policy makers and practitioners.

Using a mixed methods approach, this project gathers quantitative data to explore differences in youth attitudes and behaviour across Europe, as well as employing ethnographic and participatory research methods to look more closely at youth engagement and innovation. As such, PROMISE aims to engage young people across Europe providing a space for them to set the agenda, document their situations and articulate their needs.


Mai 2016 bis April 2019

Sponsored by

European Commission’s Horizon 2020 Research and Innovation Programme, Grant Agreement no. 693221.


  • The University of Manchester, United Kingdom
  • Istituto Psicoanalitico per le Ricerche Sociali, Rome, Italy
  • CJD Hamburg+Eutin, Germany
  • Universitat Autonoma de Barcelona (UAB), Spain
  • Universidade Catolica Portuguesa, Lisboa, Portugal
  • Univerzita Mateja Bela, Slovakia
  • FYRN Finnish Youth Research Society, Helsinki, Finland
  • Y.E.S. EWIV, Stuttgart, Germany Tartu Ulikool/University of Tartu, Estonia
  • Higher School of Economics, Petersburg Branch, Russian Federation
  • Institut Drustvenih Znanosti Ivo Pilar, Zagreb, Croatia