Young Citizens: A Case Study of Institutionalizing Children’s Participation in Community Decision-making

Mika Cori Morse, Yale University

Abstract

This article provides empirical evidence from Moshi, Tanzania that children as young as ten years old have the capacity to participate in community decision-making around complex issues such as children’s safety. It identifies a collective capability set for children’s citizenship and the structural conditions necessary for their safe and meaningful participation. It then addresses the practical question of how to create a legal framework to implement children’s citizenship. Placing the evidence in the context of deliberative citizenship and modern child development psychology theory, the article arrives at a new concept of citizenship as developmental and accessible to all ages.