Fresh from the press "Student Politics: Between Representation and Activism" in the Handbook on the Politics of Higher Education

July 3, 2018
Klemenčič, Manja, and Bo Yun Park. 2018.“Student politics: Between representation and activism”. Pp. 468-486 in Handbook on the Politics of Higher Education. Cheltenham, Glos, UK and Northampton, MA, USA: Edward Elgar Publishing. Publisher's VersionAbstract

This chapter reviews and offers directions for future research on student politics in higher education in different parts of the world. The concept of student politics refers to the activities related to the power relations between students and other social actors in and out the higher education systems; more specifically, it pertains to the relationships between students and university authorities, as well as the interactions between students and state officials. In analyzing the various forms of student politics, we draw the distinction between representation and activism, as two distinct yet interrelated activities. The first pertains to students organizing into representative student associations, such as student governments, graduate student employee unions, party-affiliated student organizations, or other student interest groups. Activism, on the other hand, denotes practices of student collective action through various forms of political engagement, whereby students act in support of or in opposition to a specific cause and/or hold the authority accountable. The analysis is guided by questions on how the various forms of student politics emerge and how they develop their organizational characteristics and their respective strategic repertoires.

Keywords: student politics; student representation; student activism; student governments; graduate student unions; party-affiliated student organizations; student political behavior; college students