Africa’s Urban Youth: Challenging Marginalization, Claiming Citizenship

Africa’s Urban Youth: Challenging Marginalization, Claiming Citizenship

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  • Author(s):
  • Published: August 9, 2023
  • Publisher: Cambridge University Press
  • Page count: 284
  • ISBN: 978-1009235143

Africa’s Urban Youth: Challenging Marginalization, Claiming Citizenship

Draws from extensive fieldwork in three countries to show how African youth negotiate citizenship through daily obligations, relationships, and political engagement

Making up 65 percent of Africa's population, young people between the ages of 18 and 35 play a key role in politics, yet they live in an environment of rapid urbanization, high unemployment rates and poor state services. Drawing from extensive fieldwork in Ghana, Uganda and Tanzania, this book investigates how Africa's urban youth cultivate a sense of citizenship in this challenging environment, and what it means to them to be a 'good citizen'. In interviews and focus group discussions, African youth, activists, and community leaders vividly explain how income, religion, and gender intertwine with their sense of citizenship and belonging. Though Africa's urban youth face economic and political marginalization as well as generational tensions, they craft a creative citizenship identity that is rooted in their relationships and obligations both to each other and the state. Privileging above all the voice and agency of Africa's young people, this is a vital, systematic examination of youth and youth citizenship in urban environments across Africa.

About the Author

Amy S. Patterson is Professor of International Affairs and Professor of Politics at the University of the South. She has authored six books, including Africa & Global Health Governance (2018) and Dependent Agency & the Global Health Regime (2017), both of which were awarded prizes by the International Studies Association. A two-time Fulbright Scholar, her work has appeared in African Affairs, African Studies Review, Journal of Modern African Studies, Africa Today, International Affairs, and Global Public Health.

Tracy Kuperus is a Professor of Politics at Calvin University. Her research interests include religion and politics, democratization, and citizen mobilization. She has previously published When Helping Heals (co-author, 2017) and chapters in edited volumes, as well as journals such as African Affairs, Africa Today, and the Journal of Modern African Studies.

Megan Hershey is a Professor of Political Science at Whitworth University. She is the author of Whose Agency: The Politics and Practice of Kenya's HIV-Prevention NGOs (2019). A Fulbright-Hays recipient, her work has appeared in journals such as the Journal of Eastern African Studies, Development in Practice and Political Studies Review.


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