In Renewing Democracy in Young America, Hart and Youniss examine the widening generation gap, the concentration of wealth in pockets of the US, and the polarized political climate, and they arrive at a compelling solution to some of the most hotly contested issues of our time. The future of democracy depends on the American people seeing citizenship as a long-term psychological identity, and thus it is critical that youth have the opportunity to act as citizens during the time of their identity formation. Proposing that 16- and 17-year-olds be able to vote in municipal elections and suggesting that schools create science-based, community-oriented environmental engagement programs, the authors expound that by engaging youth through direct citizen-participatory experiences, we can successfully create active and committed citizens.
Political scientists, media commentators, and citizens alike agree that democratic processes are broken across the nation, but we cannot stop at simply showing that our political system is dysfunctional. Refreshingly lucid and unabashedly hopeful, Renewing Democracy in Young America is an impeccably timed call to action.