A southern charter for a global youth studies to benefit the world
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This essay reflects on the process of developing a handbook that foregrounds Southern perspectives on youth life-worlds, and does so by realigning theory, praxis, and justice. It applies the principles of self-reliance, solidarity, self-knowledge and a move from subordination to interdependence as described in the 1990 report of The South Commission, led by Julius Nyerere, to youth studies scholars from the Global South. Taking seriously the South Commissions injunction that responsibility for change rests with those from the South who need to recreate their relationship with the North in order to make a global rather than parochial contribution, it describes the aims of the handbook and the many challenges experienced in producing it. Among these challenges are the difficulty Southern scholars have in producing theory, the precarity of their lives, the invisibility of much existing Southern scholarship, and the importance of communities of practice within the South and between the South and North. It concludes by offering a charter for remaking youth studies from one that universalizes Northern perspectives into a truly global youth studies, one that is enriched by, and welcomes the contribution of Global South scholars on their own terms.