Children and Youth Studies

For this specialization we advise you to register in the Major Social Policy for Development (SPD), but other Majors also give access to this specialization.

This specialization provides participants with an understanding of how children and youth are involved in development processes at the global and local levels.

Critical awareness

CYS students will develop and strengthen their critical awareness of the global and comparative history of childhood and youth, and of the various underlying forces which have shaped (or have aimed to shape) that history. They will develop an understanding of the vastly different environments under which children and youth grow up due to social and cultural inequalities as well as global economic and political factors.


The specialization explores issues of poverty, equity, rights and social development of the young from an interdisciplinary perspective that draws on sociology, political economy, anthropology, law and social history. It similarly investigates organizations, youth movements, and interventions that have shaped, or have attempted to shape, childhood and youth in different contexts.

Courses and readings

For a full description of all specializations, individual courses and indicative readings, please consult the Academic Calendar.

Teaching staff

Karin Arts
Kristen Cheney
Roy Huijsmans

Loes Keysers

Auma Okwany


CYS blog


Contemporary debates on children’s involvement in migration mostly pay little attention to his...

15 February 2016

The OpenDemocracy platform, on its Beyond Trafficking and Slavery pages, features an Open Letter end...

1 February 2016