Letter: Models of citizenship

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The Independent Online
I COULDN'T agree more that we need "citizenship for a new generation" (leading article, 24 March). Unfortunately, the models of citizenship currently running for candidacy are usually far from suitable.

It is an over-expressed fallacy that the youth of today has no interest in politics. This misconception leads to the inevitable next step of questioning how we can encourage our young citizens to become politically active; to vote, stand for counciland use all the traditionally accepted avenues for expression of active citizenship.

Why is it that politicians and educationists cannot see that whilst they ask themselves these questions in stuffy offices, our young citizens are out there actively engaging in a new kind of politics? A "globalised" world is offering new opportunities to become politically active in ways which are no longer by necessity tied to the structure of the nation state or formal politics. For example, environmental dangers and a growing demand for some form of standardisation of human rights, offer communities and individuals an opportunity to act locally on global imperatives.

It is this wider agenda that provides the forum for younger generations to act out their displeasure with the political, social and economic systems they witness around them. They already demonstrate youthful energy and political responsibility, albeit in a form not readily recognised by the old school of citizenship.

Dr SARA MacKIAN

Macclesfield, Cheshire

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