Young people who develop politics in the municipality

Jon Rantzau Harne

Student thesis: Master thesis


The rate of current young citizens in Denmark is decreasing in participation in local democracy. This image is confirmed in Danish media. By the resent election for the municipalities, local and national media paid a lot of attention to youth’s lack of participation in the election.
Former generations are criticizing the youth for being ignorant and less willing to show participation in society in which they were raised.
Resent research has also shown, that youth’s participation is low, and attempts to enhance participation is needed.
This thesis describes three possible solutions to the problematic consequences of falling election rates. Three major Danish municipalities are working with three types of co-creation with the local youth. The organizational designs are very different, but they are all working with the same rationale: To motivate the youth to participate in forming the local society.
The research question is as follows: How does the organizational framework around the municipalities affect the interaction between local politicians and young people, when they develop youth policy? And why is it necessary to involve the young people?
With inspiration from resent research and theory in co-creation, New Public Governace, and innovation of the local democracy the aim is to show why local participation can inspire the elected politicians to form new and innovative policies to the benefit of the society.
The thesis concludes, that innovation of the framework around democracy is essential to motivate young people to participate. It also shows that some policies rather than others are more common to discuss, and that municipalities inspires each other. Public schools have responsibility to teach the youth about their democratic rights and the possibilities to participate in democratic youth communities.
The thesis does not seek to produce ‘a how to guide’ for Danish municipalities, that are working toward making committee’s and councils for youth. It might rather inspire others to possible solutions and outcomes from these different municipalities.

EducationsAdministration, (Bachelor/Graduate Programme) Graduate
Publication date2 Jan 2018
Number of pages74
SupervisorsTina Øllgaard Bentzen