This article problematizes the construction of youth as a ‘driving force’ in the contemporary configuration of the European Union (EU) as an educational and political space. The study draws empirical nourishment out of documents that are central to the ongoing formation of the Union, be it White Papers, scripts or memos concerning political arenas such as youth and education policies and the Bologna process. Theoretically the article draws on insights from post-Foucauldian traditions with a focus on mentalities, subject constructions, technologies and practices operating within the ongoing governmentalization of Europe. Central questions are ‘who’ and ‘what’ the problematization of youth as political technology is about. Drawing on homologies in the coding of citizen, independent of age, the authors claim that problematization of youth is directed to all of us. We are all, in the name of youth, expected to constantly ‘adapt’ ourselves in compliance with the aim of the Lisbon process. Furthermore, as the Union itself is coded in a similar way, we may even claim that the EU, literally speaking, appears as a youth project in itself. Thus, the notion that youth can be seen as political rationality that becomes a powerful driving force in the ongoing European project.
European Educational Research Journal, 2011, Vol 10, Issue 1, p. 1-10