James Sloam is Reader in Politics, co-director of the Centre for European Politics, and co-coordinator of the Youth Politics Unit at Royal Holloway, University of London. James first became involved in the issues of youth participation in politics through an FP5 project, EUYOUTHPART (2004-2007), which explored the political participation (or lack of it) of young people in the European Union. Since then, he has published widely in the area of youth politics in Europe and the United States, including recent articles in West European Politics (2013) and Comparative Political Studies (2014). In 2012, James edited a special issue of Parliamentary Affairs on youth, citizenship and politics in the UK. Shorter pieces on youth participation can be found on the Fabian Society and LSE Europe blogs and in the UK Political Studies Association’s (PSA) Political Insight magazine.
His recent work looks at how young people’s repertoires of participation have changed (from previous generations), moving from electoral politics (voting and party membership) to a wide array of non-electoral forms of participation, and how these repertoires vary from country to country. James has examined the impact of the financial crisis and sovereign debt crises youth participation i.e. the recent wave of youth political protest across Europe (see 2014 article in Information, Communications and Society). His work also focuses on issues of ‘voice and equality’ – growing differences in participation within the current generation of young people.
James is co-convenor of the specialist group and working group on young people’s politics in the UK Political Studies Association and American Political Science Association. His work has also had an important influence on public policy: for example, leading a 2010-2011 Higher Education Funding Council for England (HEFCE) project on civic and political engagement in higher education. James’ research was heavily cited in the British Government’s 2009 Youth Citizenship Commission report and in the 2013 European Commission report ‘Political Participation and EU Citizenship: perceptions and behaviours of young people’. He contributed to the recent PSA Beyond the Youth Citizenship Commission Report. James has also collaborated with several NGOs that seek to raise awareness of youth issues and increase youth turnout in British general elections (including ShoutOutUK, the Intergenerational Foundation and Student Voice).