Special Issue "Youth Climate Activism and Sustainable Civic and Political Engagement"

A special issue of Sustainability (ISSN 2071-1050). This special issue belongs to the section "Psychology of Sustainability and Sustainable Development".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 30 June 2021.

Special Issue Editors

Prof. Dr. Elvira Cicognani
Guest Editor
Department of Psychology, University of Bologna, 33, 40126 Bologna BO, Italy
Interests: young people’s civic and political engagement and participation; community participation; pro-environmental behaviours; environmental activism; psychosocial well being; sense of community; global citizenship; community-based health promotion; behavioural change; community-based participatory action research; youth-led participatory action research; prevention and health promotion
Dr. Maria Fernandes-Jesus
Guest Editor
School of Psychology, University of Sussex, Brighton BN1 9RH, UK
Interests: young people’s political engagement; climate justice and political participation; community solidarity and mutual aid; collective action; social resistance and empowerment; environmental movements; community-based participatory research

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Youth civic and political engagement, the factors and processes that expain why and how young people mobilise to address social issues in their local communities, as well as more global issues (e.g., climate change) have been topics of considerable interest and have been addressed from a range of disciplinary and theoretical perspectives and using different methodological approaches (quantitative, qualitative, etc.), including civic and citizenship education interventions. However, while youth climate activism have been increasing in quantity and scale, we know little about young people’s voices, political agency and knowledge around climate change, their motives for participating, and the emotional aspects related to their engagement. This Special Issue aims to collect theoretical and empirical contributions, as well as evaluations of participatory interventions, focusing on “sustainable” youth engagement and participation. Two aspects of the concept will be considered: (a) youth civic and political engagement on sustainability issues (e.g., environmental issues, climate change, social justice) and (b) what factors and processes make youth civic and political engagement and activism “sustainable” (sustainability of the process of participation, in terms of its quality and impact on the participants and on external conditions, e.g., social change). We are interested in contributions addressing different forms and means of participation (individual, collective; online and ICT-supported engagement; etc.) that can illuminate the factors and processes that explain youth engagement with environmental and climate-change-related issues and its persistence, as well as its impact on internal and external conditions. We encourage contributions using mixed methods and following interdisciplinary and participatory approaches.

Prof. Dr. Elvira Cicognani
Dr. Maria Fernandes-Jesus
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All papers will be peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Sustainability is an international peer-reviewed open access semimonthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 1900 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.


  • climate change
  • environmental activism
  • youth
  • civic engagement
  • political engagement
  • collective action
  • pro-environmental behaviour
  • behavioural change
  • psychosocial factors
  • sustainability
  • environmental citizenship
  • sense of global community
  • sense of responsibility

Published Papers

This special issue is now open for submission.
Back to TopTop