James Sloam is Professor of Politics at Royal Holloway University. His research and public engagement focuses on youth engagement in politics, and public policy relating to young people (sustainability, public services and civic education). His most recent work sheds light on the relationship between youth, sustainability and democracy in London and other global cities and has been published in the journals Sustainable Earth (2020) and Political Insight (September 2021).
James has engaged with many organisations that seek to increase youth participation in democracy. In 2016, he authored a chapter on ‘electoral participation’ for the UN World Youth Report. In spring 2017, he acted as consultant for a US government department on youth and politics in Europe. In autumn 2017, he wrote a report on young people and the UK general election for the Intergenerational Foundation, which was cited by the Oxford English Dictionary in reference to its Word of the Year (‘youthquake’).
In 2019, James led a research project for the Greater London Authority (GLA) investigating young Londoners' everyday politics with respect to the UN Sustainable Development Goals. In 2020, James received an award of £19,200 from Research England to conduct follow up work with the GLA, to develop its youth engagement strategy. In 2021, he received an award of £15,000 from the British Academy (Mirian Calvo and Carina O'Reilly) to investigate the views of young Londoners from disadvantaged backgrounds on sustainability in the run-up to COP26.
James’ research is published widely in academic journals, examining differences in civic and political engagement between older and younger generations and between young people across Europe and the United States (West European Politics, 2013; Comparative Political Studies, 2014; British Journal of Politics & IR, 2016, Comparative European Politics, 2021), and investigating the impact of new forms of communication and the financial crisis on youth politics in democracy (Information, Communication & Society, 2014; New Media & Society, 2018). His 2019 book with Matt Henn, ‘Youthquake 2017: the Rise of Young Cosmopolitans in Britain’ (Palgrave) identifies the rise of cosmopolitan values amongst Millennials and Generation Z – particularly, students and young women – in the decade leading up to the 2016 EU referendum and 2017 General Election in the UK. It shows how these trends are common to other democracies, as illustrated by the recent surge in climate change activism and support for Green parties across Europe.