Ferran Davesa successfully defends his PhD thesis

On Thursday 11 January 2018, Ferran Davesa defended his PhD thesis entitled “The EU’s Youth Policy Field. A New Participatory Governance?”. His promotor was Prof. Dr. Jamal Shahin (IES). Dr. Davesa is part of the research programme “Evaluating Democratic Governance in Europe” (EDGE), under which he conducted his PhD research (2013-17). Davesa holds an MA in International Relations from Institute Barcelona d’Estudis Internacionals (IBEI), and a BA in Political Science from Universitat Pompeu Fabra (UPF). The IES would like to congratulate Dr. Ferran Davesa for this great accomplishment!

Below is a short abstract of his thesis.

In 2001, the European Union launched a new framework for European cooperation in the field of youth with the commitment to empower young people and give recognition and visibility to their concerns. This doctoral thesis scrutinises the EU’s youth policy field so as to test the relevance of the EU’s ‘participatory turn’ within a crucial policy area for addressing the ‘legitimacy crisis’ of the Union. Its main ambition is to disentangle what model of participatory governance has the EU applied to its youth strategy.

The results show that the Open Method of Coordination (OMC) in the youth policy field has generated a new (micro)system of multilevel governance revolving around the policy contributions of a wide constellation of actors. While ‘youth participation’ appears as a frame of reference within the whole EU’s youth programme, the study confirms that building a narrative on a governance principle as such is dependent on the subjectivities of each policy actor. The limited visibility of ‘digital participation’ within the OMC indicate that the answers provided by the EU do not fully resonate within the needs of the European youth.  
This research adopts a multidisciplinary approach for analysing one of the main strategies of the EU to strengthen its democratic governance. It presents a social sciences’ research that combines elements of political science and data science.