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

Mika Cori Morse, Yale University


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.