This paper explores some of the issues arising from the debate surrounding youth action, and how youth action might best be promoted.

The aim of this paper is to present arguments for how effective and progressive public policy on youth action might be developed.

We briefly outline our understanding of civil renewal and recommend that civil renewal could be a strong motivating idea to guide the future development of youth action.

In the second section, we look at current youth action policy and practice, highlighting lessons from the United States (US), Europe and the UK. We identify a range of policy objectives that lie behind these programmes.

In the third section we consider the implications of our analysis for public policy. We address the key high-level policy questions which need to be addressed by government and outline three potential youth action programmes.