JTPP Vol. 3, No. 2 (August 2021) Article # 1


Challenges the definition and role of intellectuals in the contemporary public sphere


Young Peacebuilders Challenge Traditional Knowledge Creation

Katrina Leclerc (A PhD student in conflict studies at Saint-Paul University, Canada) & Shadi Rouhshahbaz (A consultant specialising in the Youth, Peace and Security (YPS) agenda and a Programme Analyst at UN Women)

The relationship between local engagement (young people’s activism) and academic research (traditional knowledge collection) has been defined by theorists as the Scholarship of Application. This type of scholarship establishes academic epistemic knowledge, validated and generated by thought institutions which are then applied to external or other academic contexts. On the other hand, the Scholarship of Engagement approach invites collaborative and problem-oriented knowledge production to provide enriched quality of life in its outcome.

In challenging the definition and roles of knowledge creation, dissemination, and management in the contemporary public sphere, the validity of diverse perspectives and experiences as valued expertise are examined. By doing so, the authors demonstrate the validity of youth perspectives and their generational ‘expertise’ in our modern contexts and for the purpose of addressing modern challenges––for example, in the pursuit of sustainable and inclusive peace processes, operationalisation of international policy frameworks, and follow-through on agreed outcomes of policy.

By providing an alternative approach to valid and scientific knowledge expertise, current sociopolitical discourses and experiences lived by young people are demonstrated. Through this research, the authors evaluate epistemic barriers that decrease the validity of knowledge created by young people arguing that the Scholarship of Engagement provides alternative perspectives leading to more robust, relevant, and inclusive knowledge production.

Honourable Association