Youths position themselves at the forefront of contemporary violent conflicts worldwide. While violent conflict has often been used as a synonym for (civil) war, for this special issue, we define it more broadly as conflict that involves (groups of) people resorting to violent action and physical violence against others. In various ways, youths take up central positions in violent conflicts that mark our world today: by fighting as soldiers and rebels at the front lines; but also by being active in street gangs, drug cartels, vigilante groups, and ‘terrorist’ organizations; when protesting for human rights, democracy, and climate action, or against police violence, racism and other forms of bigotry; by engaging in political violence as part of student movements; when crossing the Mediterranean in rickety boats or residing in refugee camps, etc. These examples show that whilst in certain contexts youths are deliberately engaged in violent actions against others and vice versa, in other contexts, they position themselves more broadly as agents that navigate violent conflict environments.

  • Funding: none
  • People involved: Julian Kuttig (Guest Editor)