Call for Papers | Special Issue: “Challenges Associated with European Rural Youth Socio-Economic Inclusion: Empowerment, Education and Employment”

Call for Papers: Journal of Youth & Society Special Issue: “Challenges Associated with European Rural NEETs Youth Inclusion: Characterising Empowerment, Education and Employment Intervention Pathways”

Call for Papers: Journal of Youth & Society Special Issue: “Challenges Associated with European Rural NEETs Youth Inclusion: Characterising Empowerment, Education and Employment Intervention Pathways”

 Submit your abstract here

– Abstract no later than the 30th of November 2020
Full article no later than the 15th of January 2021
– Expected publication by 30st of April 2021

According to our Annual Thematic Plan, we have the opportunity to fund Article Processing Charge for the Special Issue “ Challenges Associated with European Rural NEETs Youth Inclusion: Characterising Empowerment, Education and Employment Intervention Pathways” to be published in Journal of Youth & Society (2 year impact factor: 1.794; Social Issues 18 out of 44 | Social Sciences, Interdisciplinary 35 out of 108 | Sociology 54 out of 150).

This special issue will focus on the challenges associated with European rural NEET (Not in Employment, Education or Training) youth socio-economic inclusion. For NEETs, the transition from childhood to adulthood is both complex and fascinating, fraught with risks of marginalisation and precarity. Such challenges have been compounded by assumptions regarding homogeneity evident in publications by the EU and the OECD which place all NEETs within age ranges without recognition of the complexity of life in this demographic. In 2019, across the EU28 member-states and non-EU states, the proportion of NEETs was recorded as higher in rural regions when compared with the same rate in towns and suburbs or cities (Eurostat, 2020). Notably, an uneven NEET distribution by the degree of urbanisation was evident in many eastern or southern European countries, with gaps between cities and rural areas ranging from 10 to more than 20 percentile points. Clearly, there is a need to explore the greater proportions of rural NEETs that occur in European countries with sub-protective welfare regimes and fail short to support school-to-work transition among the most vulnerable youths (Schoon & Heckhausen, 2019).

These young Europeans particularly, between the ages of 15 to 24 in  rural  settings, are especially vulnerable and depend on a wide range of supports and targeted interventions at regional, national and international levels. The impact of recent economic crises and austerity policies of governments are having a sustained negative impact on the provision of such social services and, consequently, the availability of sustainable programmes and opportunities that target young people and those already experiencing marginalisation. Indeed, vulnerable rural youths are often confronted with less and lower quality educational alternatives, higher unemployment statistics, precarious living and lower potential income. This can result in rural NEETs, in particular, being harder to outreach and engage with and where mainstream policies such as Youth Guarantee are fail to adjust to local and regional needs (Simões & Rio, 2020). Despite this, it is evident that the seeds of marginal gains are being made. At a national level, across Europe, various public policies have been implemented to empower rural youth, develop educational opportunities and increase the employment inclusion policies for vulnerable young people residing in rural communities. Examples of this include policy packages, including broadband ones, for example, the EU Green Deal, or those specifically targeting youths, such as the EU Youth Strategy, have put vulnerable rural youths future in the spotlight. However, these initiatives and programmes remain relatively disparate and under-disseminated not just at a European  but also in the wider non-EU context as a consequence of research agendas that place all NEETs in the same homogenous grouping compounded by a dearth of contextualisation.

Considering this fact, the aim of this special issue is three-fold. Firstly we aim to to establish rural NEETs as a specific and visible subgroup of NEETs; secondly, to enhance our understanding of European rural youth and the challenges associated with their socio-economic inclusion by encouraging submissions that address empowerment, education and employment pathways specific to this demographic group; and thirdly, to deliver a scientific output which becomes pivotal for and stimulates new research agendas on this topic, in the years ahead.

Suggested suitable topics include:

  • Policies for youth social inclusion and their impact at regional and national levels
  • Inclusion strategies within and between regions and cities, including comparative analysis
  • Community development to promote youth social inclusion
  • Inclusive employment policies and intervention programs
  • Good practices of coordination within and between social services and employment services
  • Rural development policies and youth empowerment
  • Rural youth and their specific inclusion challenges
  • Nature, forms and mechanism of youth social exclusion and discrimination in social, economic, political and cultural spheres
  • Formal educational policies, programmes and intervention programmes
  • Non-formal educational policies, programmes and intervention programmes
  • Policies and strategies related to the youth school-to-employment transition experience

We encourage innovative submissions grounded in youth and youth-led research as well as research centred on the views and experiences of young people.


To submit of a short proposal/description of the article thus Guest Editors be able to evaluate the fit of the article in the special issue by this link: Deadline: 30th November 2020.

Proposals will be evaluated by editors according to their academic contributions. Accepted proposals’ article processing costs (APC)  have the chance to be fully funded if they comply with the criteria of the COST Action. For the cost of APCs to be 100% funded, three COST 18213 authors from three different countries should be contributors to submitted papers. Then, the special issue guest editors will make recommendations to those eligible to send full articles for peer reviewed evaluation through the Journal of Youth & Society online platform. Final decision will be given after the reviewing process.

Authors informed of acceptance/rejection of their articles after completing the peer review process, and in compliance with criteria for 100% funding under the RNYN COST Action, will have their articles published in the Special Issue “Challenges Associated with European Rural Youth Inclusion: Characterising Empowerment, Education and Employment Intervention Pathways.” in  the Journal of Youth & Society.

Due to the emergent and rapid nature of the development of this Special Issue submitting authors should note that there are two possible timelines for publication. Clarification will be given in early December 2020 by the guest editors regarding which timeline will be in place. Both timelines are listed below:

30th November 2020          Deadline for submission of Abstracts
6th December 2020             Notification to authors eligible, to submit full articles
15th January 2021                Deadline for receipt of full article submissions
12th March 2022                  Review process complete
30th April 2021                     Expected publication (tentative)

For any queries, please contact:

Dr. Paul Flynn – National University of Ireland Galway, Republic of Ireland (
Dr. Emre Erdogan – Istanbul Bilgi University. Turkey (

COST (European Cooperation in Science and Technology) is a funding agency for research and innovation networks.
Our Actions help connect research initiatives across Europe and enable scientists to grow their ideas by sharing them with their peers. This boosts their research, career and innovation.

Official COST Web: CA18213

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