Chapter one examines the way in which the political classes envisioned the role of youth and identifies how youth featured in broader discourses of societal change. The commemoration of the 1916 Rising on its 50th anniversary provided an opportunity for national stocktaking, and an analysis of how young people featured in commemorative narratives and activities demonstrates the centrality of youth in the idea of an improved economic future. Analysis of the role of youth in the politics of both party and protest reveals the extent to which an international challenge to establishment forces from young people featured in the Republic of Ireland, and demonstrates the limited impact of young people on mainstream politics, despite their significance for economic change.
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