Research interests

Young people, youth work, social inclusion, citizenship, youth justice, Europe

Research interests

Howard Williamson has held academic research grants from the Economic and Social Research Council, various government departments and the European Commission, and practice grants from the National Lottery Charities Board for his ‘cottage project’ in Snowdonia, working with unemployed and excluded young people.

He has managed and conducted research projects for local, national and European organisations. His research work has been predominantly on youth issues, notably concerning youth work and youth training, but it has also addressed juvenile justice and youth crime, drug misuse, special needs housing, inter-agency partnerships, mini-enterprise in schools, local economic development and training for enterprise in Europe.

His primary research interests are around youth policy, citizenship and social exclusion, and the role of youth work in the personal development and social integration of young people.

Relatively recent research has included action research with schools around alternative key stage 4 curricula, an evaluation of the Home Office On Track initiative, and a formative evaluation of a police-led schools curriculum on drugs, crime and personal safety. He has also completed a European funded collaborative research project on youth behaviour in public space (with research institutions in Austria, Estonia and Finland). Over the last decade, he has been centrally involved in a study of the history of youth work in Europe that has produced a seven-volume series.  His most significant research study, however, remains that of the ‘Milltown Boys’, a group of young men he first studied, through participant observation methods, almost 50 years ago.  He interviewed them when they were 40 (published as The Milltown Boys Revisited, Berg 2004) and again when they were 60 (published as The Milltown Boys at Sixty, Routledge 2021).  He is currently working on the changed and changing nature of youth transitions following the COVID-19 pandemic.

Research output

  1. ‘Wind in our back’? A new framework for youth work throughout Europe

    Research output: Contribution to conferencePaperpeer-review

  2. Theorizing and Doing Youth Policies: an Interview with Howard Williamson

    Research output: Contribution to journalInterviewpeer-review

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  1. Outstanding Contribution to Youth Work Award

    Prize: National/international honour

  2. Commander of the Royal Victorian Order (CVO)

    Prize: National/international honour

  3. Commander of the Order of the British Empire (CBE)

    Prize: National/international honour

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