Apparent political apathy among youth in the United States has led to a moral panic about the future of democracy. Many researchers question the facts, while others seek to engage and mobilize young people around public issues they care about in order to master the citizen role and to bring social change. Civic youth work has its modern roots in this work. Its guiding ethos is authentic, meaningful, just, inclusive, and consequential youth involvement in everyday civic life through a small-group process, with the goal of supporting citizenship for young people as a life-long practice.
Using their U.S. and international experience, the authors discuss civic youth work touchstones, promising practices, and activities. The text expands earlier notions of youth engagement by grounding them to a conception of the lived-citizen. A substantive bibliography lists the sources on the subject of civic youth work and provides links to scholarly work for researchers and practitioners to effectively support youth involvement in community, social, and political development.