E-YOUTH offers distinct innovations on theoretical, methodological and empirical levels.
Applying a novel IR’s theory of strategic narrative (Miskimmon, O’Loughlin and Roselle 2013)to EU foreign policy studies, E-YOUTH traces youth narratives on systemic, identity and issue levels, situating them within narrative cycle of projection-communication-reception argued by the theory.
Advancing the research agenda of EU external opinion studies, E-YOUTH innovatively employs a mixed (QL and QN) method with a range of instruments (face-to-face semi-qualitative surveys, focus groups with Q Sort, group and individual interviews, media content analysis) to explore youth opinion on a normative level (tertiary and secondary level students) and among key-informants (youth leaders).
Given the narrative contestation around Ukraine and the EU, E-YOUTH has chosen this innovative comprehensive methodology to get beyond the identification of individual attitudes alone, to access the narratives through which individuals understand the past, present and future of the interactions and conflicts, and to generate an accurate assessment of EU diplomatic engagement with Ukraine and its educated youth in particular.
Innovatively, E-YOUTH traces EU narratives and images among secondary and tertiary level students as well as youth leaders, and offers a comparative analysis across youth generations – school, university and early career.
At an educational level, E-YOUTH introduces youth at each stage to social science research methods and provides more information on how public opinion research works (a critical skill at a time when media literacy is a pivotal issue in this region,).