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Global Youth Unemployment

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Global Youth Unemployment

History, Governance and Policy

9781789900415 Edward Elgar Publishing
Ross Fergusson, Senior Lecturer in Social Policy and Nicola Yeates, Professor of Social Policy, The Open University, UK
Publication Date: April 2021 ISBN: 978 1 78990 041 5 Extent: c 224 pp
This timely book introduces a fresh perspective on youth unemployment by analysing it as a global phenomenon. Ross Fergusson and Nicola Yeates argue that only by incorporating analysis of the dynamics of the global economy and global governance can we make convincing, comprehensive sense of these developments. The authors present substantial new evidence spanning a century pointing to the strong relationships between youth unemployment, globalisation, economic crises and consequent harms to young people’s social and economic welfare worldwide. The book notably encompasses data and analysis spanning the Global South as well as the Global North.

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This timely book introduces a fresh perspective on youth unemployment by analysing it as a global phenomenon. Continuously-escalating rates of youth unemployment have become endemic, normalised features of contemporary society. Ross Fergusson and Nicola Yeates argue that only by incorporating analysis of the dynamics of the global economy and global governance can we make convincing, comprehensive sense of these developments. The authors present new substantial evidence spanning a century pointing to the strong relationships between youth unemployment, globalisation, economic crises and consequent harms to young people’s social and economic welfare worldwide. The book notably encompasses data and analysis spanning the Global South as well as the Global North.

The authors’ innovative exploration is holistic in approach and committed to analyses that span histories, territories, academic disciplines and policy contexts. Providing new statistical examination of the incidence, distribution, impacts and putative causes, this book presents a highly original interpretation of youth unemployment and its global governance. It calls for urgently-needed robust responses on a global scale.

Global Youth Unemployment is essential reading for students and academics within the fields of social, labour, public and economic policy as well as policy makers within the youth employment and unemployment sectors.
Critical Acclaim
‘A vital contribution to our understanding of the transnational structures contributing to the endemic problem of youth unemployment. The study draws attention to the necessity of dealing with this human tragedy through global social policy analysis. Its conclusions and recommendations are highly relevant for the post-Covid 19 era.’
– Robert O’Brien, Professor of Political Science, McMaster University, Canada

‘This is a timely assessment of a global crisis that has been greatly worsened by the Covid pandemic slump. Youth make up a large percentage of the global precariat, and as the authors convincingly demonstrate, their unemployment has long been huge, with enormous global social and economic consequences. Unless income security can be provided on a worldwide basis there will be justified social unrest.’
– Guy Standing, Professorial Research Associate, SOAS University of London, UK

‘Rarely has a study of global youth unemployment so adeptly combined an empirically-grounded scrutiny of its levels and trends, with a conceptually nuanced analysis of its political economy drivers at multiple scales. Fergusson and Yeates make a compelling case for seeing endemic youth unemployment as an issue of grave social injustice–one that supply-side palliative approaches have patently failed to address, and which is in urgent need of integrated employment, social protection and macroeconomic policies backed by a more cohesive system of social and economic governance at the global level.’
– Shahra Razavi, Director of the Social Protection Department, International Labour Organization, Switzerland

‘Based on research and analysis that draws comparative lessons across historical periods and across economies, and which brings together insights from different, academic disciplines, Global Youth Unemployment is a fascinating, important and timely book. Fergusson and Yeates focus on the injustice of youth unemployment as a threat to young people’s social and economic welfare at a global level. This perspective, and the call to action that concludes the book, is original and impressive. It will be an important book for students and scholars in social policy, political science, sociology and youth studies.’
– Robert MacDonald, Professor of Education and Social Justice, University of Huddersfield, UK

‘The majority of the world’s youth labor force is unemployed. Recognizing and analyzing youth unemployment as an inherent “global” social problem, this book takes an innovative and insightful view of this phenomenon. It explores youth unemployment not only in its current state across both the Global North and the Global South, but also deals with its historical as well as institutional origins and analyzes economic consequences under the neoliberal paradigm. This book is a must-read for anyone interested in global social policy and labor issues.’
– Kerstin Martens, Professor of International Relations and World Society, University of Bremen, Germany

‘Youth unemployment, as a social policy and social movement issue, now has its definitive treatment in this magnificent book by Ross Fergusson and Nicola Yeates. Going beyond methodological nationalism it outlines lucidly the causes of endemic youth unemployment on a global scale. It calls for a Global Compact for Youth Employment to address the scandalous fact that nearly half of the world’s unemployed are between 15 and 24 years of age. This is historically grounded, policy relevant, critical analysis at its best.’
– Ronaldo Munck, Professor of Political Sociology, Dublin City University, Ireland

‘A book that will change the way you think about global and local youth unemployment: its causes, its consequences and its cures.’
– Danny Dorling, Halford Mackinder Professor of Geography, University of Oxford, UK

‘Fergusson and Yeates’ distinctive voice narrates a timely diagnosis of an acute but understudied phenomenon, as viewed through historical and contemporary lenses. This is a book of big ideas that will set the standard for future analyses of global youth unemployment.’
– Heidi Gottfried, Professor of Sociology, Wayne State University, Detroit, US

This title is available for institutional purchase via Elgaronline.

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