The PARTISPACE project has been conceptualised as a mixed methods study consisting of the analysis of survey data as well as document and discourse analysis at national and European level, of local case studies which in turn include expert interviews, focus group discussions and city walks as well as biographical interviews with young people, and ethnographic case studies of different participatory settings.
The design covers and allows for relating the European, the national, the local and the everyday life level of youth participation, it addresses formal, non-formal and informal styles and spaces of participation involving institutional, collective and individual practices.
A further key aspect of the project design is the constant exchange with representatives of the youth sector: policy makers, practitioners such as youth workers and young people themselves.
Finally, it takes care to provide young people themselves a central role in the research – not only as objects of research but as co-researchers. Inasmuch as PARTISPACE aims at transgressing established definitions and forms of participation which risk excluding activities and practices of young people who have a participatory potential but are not recognised as such, the design needs to be as open as possible.
At the same time, comparison across cities and countries requires a certain degree of functional equivalence and an interpretative model that allows for contextualisation. The model of qualitative multilevel analysis provides a rationale according to which data collected at individual, interactive, institutional, local/regional and society level can be integrated (cf. Helsper et al., 2010; Parreira et al.., 2013). The analysis of interactions between different levels in turn is related to comparative models like the one of youth transition regimes.
The study is organised in 7 Work Packages:
- WP1: Management
- WP2: National context
- WP3: European framework
- WP4: Local case studies
- WP5: Action research with young people
- WP6: Analysis
- WP7: Dissemination and communication activities