Summer course 2024 (online with one campus-based week)   

"Listening to Children: rights, participation and voices of children in research and politics"
Photo credit Illustratör: Rädda Barnen

Course Description

Link to Syllabus

Date: The course is planned to take place next time in Aug/Sept 2024.

Course Directors: Professor Karin Zetterqvist Nelson and Assistant Professor Jonathan Josefsson, Department of Thematic Studies – Child Studies 

Course Description

Today, the listening to children and youth has gained significant currency in research and politics. Child participatory methods, surveys for young people, and the collecting of narratives focusing on children´s voices are increasingly used to address societal problems and to provide legitimacy to political solutions. In the wake of a growing scholarly production in childhood studies and a global diffusion of children´s rights norms, the centering of young people´s voices have become a key strategy to guarantee participation and to improve matters of young people’s concern in various domains of society. Yet, at the same time, the emphasis on listening, participation and voice has become an integrated part of new forms of governance to control and regulate children and youth.

This course contains elements that aim to convey methodological and theoretical tools for a critical analysis of how children and young people's rights, participation and voices are used in research and politics of today. Furthermore, current research on the implementation of children's and young people's rights is addressed more specifically in relation to spheres like health care, migration, climate, education and social services. The course engages critically with how child specific methodologies, like for instance child interviews and participatory observations, are designed to capturing children's experiences and voices and to situate them in a broader historical development of children and childhood research during the twentieth century to present day. The PhD candidates are encouraged to make use of their own research projects to engage with the key elements of the course.  

Deadline for applications:

  • Listening to Children is one of many courses at Child Studies Graduate School offered to PhD students; the courses are taught by Child Studies faculty and international and Swedish guest lecturers.
    Confirmed speakers are: Dr Afua O Twum-Danso Imoh (University of Bristol), Dr Christer Mattson (University of Gothenburg).
    Seminars are held throughout the week with researchers from Child studies (Tema Barn): Dr Anette Wickström (LIU), Dr Asta Cekeita (LIU), Dr Anna Sparrman (LIU), Dr Alex Orrmalm (Linköping University), Dr Johanna Annerbäck (LIU).
  • Listening to Children 7,5 ECTS, five weeks, on-line plus one campus-based week at Child Studies including preparation and final assignment, Campus Valla, Linköping
  • Limited number of participants
  • The department can provide guidance for housing alternatives.

To apply

Please send an email to with cc to and, including the following information:

Full name, contact details, affiliation, title of Phd project, name of supervisor and his/her contact details + attach a Letter of motivation for why you want to participate in the course.

PhD Programme

Contact us