Intergenerational Justice Prize 2013/20114: „Youth Movements for Intergenerational Justice“

The Foundation for the Rights of Future Generations (FRFG) and the Intergenerational Foundation (IF) will award the Intergenerational Justice Prize 2013/14, endowed with €10,000. It is financed by the “Stiftung Apfelbaum” and awarded every two years. The prize money can be divided up amongst winning entrants as the jury sees fit.

By means of this award, the FRFG and IF aim to promote a discussion of intergenerational justice in society, and – by providing a scientific basis to the debate – establish new perspectives for decision-makers.

The topic of the 2013/14 prize was: “Youth Movements for Intergenerational Justice”. The official poster can be found here.

Final results:

The jury awarded eight contributions:

Miriam Stehling and Merle-Marie Kruse received the first award for their work „Occupy als Jugendbewegung für Generationengerechtigkeit? Mediatisierte Aushandlungen des ‚Politischen‘ durch junge Menschen“.

Sonja Thau received the second award for her work „Der Arabische Frühling als Ruf für Generationengerechtigkeit“.

Thomas Tozer received the third award for his work „Youth Movements for Intergenerational Justice A study into the nature, cause and success of youth movements, and why they are required by intergenerational justice and democracy“.

Five special awards received:

Anna Braam for her work „Die Occupy-Bewegung im Lichte der Generationengerechtigkeit“.

Paul Schulmeister for his work „Strukturelle und ideologische Unsicherheiten der Jugendgeneration. Dynamiken und Brüche bei Jugendbewegungen“.

Marlene Heinrich und Marion-Christine Totter for their work „Movimiento Multicolorido (Bunte Bewegung). Die Bewegung 15-M und ihr Versuch einer gerechten Welt“.

Christiane Hoth for her work „Die „Generation Y“ und der movimiento estudiantil in Chile“.

Mie Scott Georgsen for her work „Contentious Youths? A Case Study on The Gezi Park Protests and the Maidan Uprising“.

Submission Requirements

The deadline for submissions was 15 October 2014.

Target Group

The Intergenerational Justice Prize is primarily aimed at young scholars (students, postgraduates and PhD students) and anyone else who is interested in getting involved with scientific or more non-academic questions in the field of intergenerational justice. You are always welcome to work in a team.

The following text provided some ideas for a submission:

 The late 1960s were clearly marked by a widespread and radical youth movement, often referred to as the “Generation of ’68”. However, their children (and even their grandchildren) have shown considerably less political engagement, and have frequently been dismissed as self-indulgent, lazy and apolitical. But is this situation about to change? Young people worldwide are taking to the streets and making themselves heard. The new youth protests range from student riots and the climate activism via the Occupy Movement and the Spanish “¡Democracia Real YA!” movement to the Arab Spring and the recent uprising at Taksim Square in Istanbul.

At present, Europe is a continent of contrasts when it comes to youth protests. There is, however, one common theme across Europe: young people are neither powerfully organised, nor are their interests effectively represented by a youth lobby. It is at least questionable whether umbrella organisations for the interests of young generations – such as the German Federal Youth Council, or the British Youth Council – can perform an integrating role as effectively as the established interest groups of older generations in their respective countries.

The average age of both party members and of MPs has risen steadily; young politicians are rare. In Germany, the share of under 30-year-olds within the Social Democrats (SPD) is just 7 per cent, while the corresponding figure for the Christian Democrats (CDU) is just 5 per cent. The average SPD party member is 59 years old, the average CDU party member about the same. In the UK, the average membership age of the Labour and Conservative parties is 50 and 60, respectively. In sum, young people are engaging less and less with established parties.

An interesting exception to highlight in Europe is the Pirate Party, which originated in Sweden. It was successful in parliamentary elections in several countries with proportional representation systems. The average age of its party members currently stands at just under 40, which could arguably qualify as “young”.

But where established political parties have failed, youth has sometimes mobilised to protest against the issues that affect them directly, such as cuts in the education system, high youth unemployment and a lack of prospects in general. In the UK, the rise in the maximum tuition fee that universities may charge students – from £3,000 to £9,000 per year – led to protests in London; meanwhile, in Hungary, cuts to the education budget and a controversial government proposal to force university students to find work in Hungary after the completion of their degrees have caused many Hungarian students to take to the streets of Budapest.

Against this background the Intergenerational Justice Award asked:

  • What are the essential ingredients that define a youth movement – age, aims or the tools and instruments employed? How do youth movements emerge and under what conditions are they successful? How can one, if at all, measure their success? At what point do youth protests become youth movements? Do the examples of Occupy or the Pirate Party qualify as youth movements?
  • Which youth movements are close to a vision of intergenerational justice as defined by FRFG and IF? To what degree do youth movements explicitly employ the language of intergenerational justice? What is their understanding of intergenerational justice?
  • Do young people have identifiable shared interests which could serve as the basis for a youth movement? If yes, which interests result in political protest/action?
  • What role do young elites play in youth movements?
  •  In which protests do young and old people take part together – and in which do they not?
  • Why do many young people appear to be angry with political parties? What remains of the “long march through the institutions” (Dutschke)?
  • Do school or student clubs and societies, or the youth organisations of political parties or trade unions have any impact on questions of intergenerational justice?


Literature in English

Barker, Colin, Alan Johnson, and Michael Lavalette. 2001. Leadership and social movements. Manchester England New York: Manchester University Press.

Connery, Michael. 2008. Youth to Power. How Today’s Young Voters are Building Tomorrow’s Progressive Majority. New York: Ig Publishing.

Donk, Wim B., ‎Brian D. Loader, and‎ Paul G. Nixon. 2004. Cyberprotest: new media, citizens, and social movements. London New York: Routledge.

Fominaya, Cristina, and Laurence Cox. 2013. Understanding European movements: new social movements, global justice struggles, anti-austerity protest. London: Routledge, Taylor & Francis Group.

Goodwin, Jeff, and James M. Jasper. 2009. The social movements reader: cases and concepts. Chichester, UK, and Malden, MA: Wiley-Blackwell.

Johnston, Hank, and John A. Noakes. 2005. Frames of protest: social movements and the framing perspective. Lanham: Rowman & Littlefield Publishers.

Johnston, Hank. 2009. Culture, social movements, and protest. Farnham, UK, and Burlington, VT: Ashgate.

Karatzogianni, Athina, and Andrew Robinson. 2010. Power, resistance, and conflict in the contemporary world social movements, networks, and hierarchies. London and New York: Routledge.

Kolb, Felix. 2007. Protest and opportunities: the political outcomes of social movements. Frankfurt and New York: Campus Verlag.

Taylor, Astra, and Keith Gessen. 2011. Occupy!: Scenes from occupied America. London: Verso.

Weldon, S. L. 2012. When protest makes policy: how social movements represent disadvantaged groups. Ann Arbor, MI: University of Michigan Press.

Literature in German

Beitzer, Hannah: Wir wollen nicht unsere Eltern wählen. Warum Politik heute anders funktioniert. Rowohlt: Reinbek bei Hamburg 2012

Blasberg, Anita: Die schon wieder! In: Die Zeit Nr. 17/2013

Boese, Daniel: Wir sind jung und brauchen die Welt. Wie die Generation Facebook den Planeten rettet. Oekom: München 2011

Connery, Michael: Youth to Power. How Today’s Young Voters are Building Tomorrow’s Progressive Majority. Ig Publishing: New York 2008

Jünemann, Annette/Zorob, Anja (Hg.): Arabellions: Zur Vielfalt von Protest und Revolte im Nahen Osten und Nordafrika. Springer VS: Frankfurt am Main 2013

Kraushaar, Wolfgang: Der Aufruhr der Ausgebildeten. Vom Arabischen Frühling zur Occupy-Bewegung. Hamburger Edition: Hamburg 2012

Luhmann, Niklas: Protest. Systemtheorie und Soziale Bewegungen. Suhrkamp: Frankurt am Main 1996

Reissmann, Ole et al.: We are Anonymous: Die Maske des Protests – Wer sie sind, was sie antreibt, was sie wollen. Goldmann: München 2012

Shell Deutschland (Hg.) 2010: 16. Shell Jugendstudie. Koordination M. Albert, K. Hurrelmann, G. Quenzel u.a. Frankfurt: S. Fischer

Walter, Franz: Die neue Macht der Bürger. Was motiviert die Protestbewegungen? Rowohlt: Reinbek bei Hamburg 2013