A recently published special issue of the Journal of the British Academy details young people’s responses to unprecedented global challenges.

The issue ‘Being and becoming – uncertain youth futures’ features contributions from a range of thought leaders, including the University of Bath’s Dr Darragh McGee – whose own research has focused on the shifting relationship between gambling and sport.

Articles in the issue address:

  • the global gambling boom’s impact on young people in sub-Saharan Africa
  • the disruptive effect of climate change on young people’s livelihoods in Uganda
  • young people’s involvement in climate and environmental social action
  • the links between technical and vocational education and training and sustainable employment for young women in Cameroon and Sierra Leone

Most of the research presented stems from the British Academy’s Youth Futures research funding scheme. This is designed to support research which brings a youth-led perspective on the UN’s 2030 Sustainable Development Agenda.

Commenting on his leadership of a collaborative project, conducted with the universities of Ghana, Bath, and Glasgow, in partnership with the Malawi Epidemiology and Intervention Research Unit (MEIRU), Dr McGee of Bath’s Department for Health, said: "The Youth Futures scheme has enabled our multidisciplinary, international team to develop a creative arts-based approach to collaborating with young people in Ghana and Malawi and their communities to shape the future directions of research on gambling harms across Sub-Saharan Africa.

“Their voices have shed light on how the global expansion of commercial gambling exacerbates inequality and poverty in local communities, adding to the precarious realities young people must navigate in their aspirations for a hopeful, prosperous future. This Special Issue offers a fascinating window into the predicament of youth in all its complexity.“

This is the third peer-reviewed publication from the interdisciplinary project - Gambling Realities in Africa.

Earlier this year, The Guardian covered this work and more recently it was picked up by Bloomberg.

A book stemming from the project ‘Gambling and Sports in a Global Age’, in collaboration with Christopher Bunn (Glasgow), will be published later this month.

The latest edition of the Journal of the British Academy, was edited by Dr Anna Barford from the International Labour Organization and Bye Fellow in Geography Murray Edwards College, University of Cambridge.

She said: “This special issue shares new research into young people’s constraints and opportunities and, importantly, much of this research has been guided, and at times, even led, by young researchers.”

To access the latest edition see https://www.thebritishacademy.ac.uk/publishing/journal-british-academy/11s3/.

To access Darragh’s article ‘Young people and gambling in Sub-Saharan Africa: towards a critical research agenda’ see https://www.thebritishacademy.ac.uk/publishing/journal-british-academy/11s3/young-people-and-gambling-in-sub-saharan-africa/.