CIRCLE (The Center for Information and Research on Civic Learning and Engagement)
conducts research on the civic and political engagement of young Americans.
The Center for Information & Research on Civic Learning and Engagement

Call for Proposals for Guest Posts on Youth and Political Engagement from the Monkey Cage and CIRCLE

February 12th, 2016
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A blog of the Washington Post, The Monkey Cage uses social science theory and evidence to “make some sense of the circus that is politics.”  It was named 2010 Blog of the Year by The Week and a 2012 Best Blog by Time. In partnership with CIRCLE (the Center for Information and Research on Civic Learning and Engagement), the Monkey Cage seeks to publish 10 articles on youth voting and political engagement. CIRCLE will expand the reach of the series by drawing the attention of practitioners and policymakers to the articles and their implications.

CIRCLE focuses on young people in the United States, especially those who are marginalized or disadvantaged in political life. CIRCLE’s scholarly research informs policy and practice for healthier youth development and a better democracy. CIRCLE is part of the Jonathan M. Tisch College of Citizenship & Public Service at Tufts University. This partnership is funded by a grant from the Democracy Fund.

The Call

We are looking for articles on youth and political engagement accessible to a broad audience. We seek contributions from political scientists and scholars in other relevant fields at all stages in their careers. The majority of selected articles will be posted before the end of the 2016 calendar year; however, we are open to proposals that use data collected in 2016 for posting in the first half of 2017.

A proposal should be a short explanation of the topic, the argument, the main evidence, and the audience for the proposed article. In keeping with the mission of The Monkey Cage, the article should focus on the research and evidence and not engage in policy or partisan advocacy — as one might in a traditional op-ed.

We will invite some people who submitted proposals to draft full articles. The Monkey Cage and CIRCLE will make a final decision about publication based on the full drafts, considering these criteria:

  • Focus on young people under 30 years of age in the U.S. (required)

  • Addresses research question related to elections, public policy, or governance at any level

  • Clear explanation of the quantitative or qualitative data used

  • Evidence of rigorous research/analysis

  • Accessibility, i.e. potential for the content to be effective as journalism

  • Timeliness, i.e. at least some relevance to current public conversations about politics

  • Discussion of possible implications for practice and/or policy

  • Diversity among the proposals selected to contribute

In many news articles in every election cycle, young people are treated as a monolithic bloc, and the questions become: What will the overall youth turnout rate be? And whom will young people support? We are more interested in articles that focus on:

  • Subgroups of youth (e.g., based on race and ethnicity, gender, socioeconomic status, partisanship, etc.)

  • Relationships between voting and other forms of civic or political participation

  • Engagement of youth who are not in college and without college experience

  • News media effects on youth political engagement

  • Recent data or analytic techniques that can be used to write about youth

To propose an article, use this form.


Proposals due by midnight ET on March 2nd, 2016. Review and communication with selected contributors will occur by mid-April. Most submissions will require revisions. Selected articles will be published and distributed between April and December 2016, but we are open to proposals that seek to use 2016 data for posting in 2017.


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