Published: January 2010
Author(s): Alexandra Plows, Ian Stafford

Qualitative research from Wales sought to explore aspects of childrens views on government and participation. The research project was conducted in 2001 with 105 children aged 811 from a diverse sample of schools across Wales. The article first reports the childrens perspectives on different levels (and places) of government: the UK parliament and the Welsh Assembly. Second, there is discussion of how the children see government as affecting their lives. The third section of the article presents the childrens views on the extent to which they should have a say in local and national political decisions, the examples being the building of a new road in their community and going to war. The children, while declaring a lack of interest in politics in general, in fact engaged enthusiastically in discussion of specific issues that they saw affecting their lives. There was a general expectation that they should be consulted on issues that affect them directly and they saw the potential for their views to be fed into decision-making via intermediaries. Very few, however, expected their own views to be decisive, but rather most believed that their views ought to be considered alongside others.

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Keywords
Environment, Tourism, Leisure, Policy, Wales, WISERD
Qualitative research from Wales sought to explore aspects of childrens views on government and participation. The research project was conducted in 2001 with 105 children aged 811 from a diverse sample of schools across Wales. The article first reports the childrens perspectives on different levels (and places) of government: the UK parliament and the Welsh Assembly. Second, there is discussion of how the children see government as affecting their lives. The third section of the article presents the childrens views on the extent to which they should have a say in local and national political decisions, the examples being the building of a new road in their community and going to war. The children, while declaring a lack of interest in politics in general, in fact engaged enthusiastically in discussion of specific issues that they saw affecting their lives. There was a general expectation that they should be consulted on issues that affect them directly and they saw the potential for their views to be fed into decision-making via intermediaries. Very few, however, expected their own views to be decisive, but rather most believed that their views ought to be considered alongside others.