Senior Associate Editor

Connie Flanagan is the Vaughan Bascom Professor of Women, Family and Community and Associate Dean Emerita of the School of Human Ecology at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. She also has been a Resident Fellow at the Spencer Foundation and a Fulbright scholar in Santiago, Chile. Her scholarship focuses on the development of political theories during adolescence and young adulthood and on the factors in families, schools, and community-based organizations that foster identification with and action for the common good in young people.

Connie has published more than 150 papers and book chapters on this topic. Her book, Teenage Citizens: The Political Theories of the Young (Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 2013), won the 2014 Social Policy Award for Best Authored Book from the Society for Research on Adolescence. Other awards include the Research Prize from the Jonathan M. Tisch College of Citizenship and Public Service for scholarship contributing to the understanding of civic engagement; the Ittleson Award from the American Orthopsychiatric Association for research linking civic engagement, social justice, and youth well-being; a William T. Grant Scholars Award; an honorary doctorate in Humanities and Social Sciences from Örebro University in Sweden; and the University of Wisconsin-Madison’s Slesinger Award for Excellence in Mentoring.

Connie was a founding board member of the Center for Information and Research on Civic Learning and Engagement (CIRCLE) and served as an advisor for the Carnegie Corporation/CIRCLE’s Civic Mission of Schools report. She also has served on national advisory boards including the Social Science Research Council’s Youth and Globalization in the 21st Century and the National Commission on Youth Voting and Civic Knowledge. Membership on international advisory boards include the European Commission’s (PIDOP), Processes Influencing Democratic Ownership and Participation and (CATCH-EyoU), Constructing AcTive CitizensHip with EUropean youth projects. Between 2000 and 2010, she was a member of the MacArthur Foundation’s Network on Transitions to Adulthood and Public Policy where she was the point person on trends in youth civic engagement, the class divide in opportunities for civic incorporation, and the developmental affordance of national service.

Flanagan co-edited the Handbook of Research on Civic Engagement in Youth (Wiley, 2010) with Lonnie Sherrod and Judith Torney-Purta and Youth Activism: An International Encyclopedia (Greenwood, 2005) with Lonnie Sherrod, Ron Kassimir, and Amy Syvertsen. She is a Co-Editor of the Palgrave book series on Youth, Citizenship, and Politics.  

Flanagan’s current project, Youth and the Environmental Commons, takes a civic science approach to environmental education by emphasizing science as a public good and linking students’ science learning to their civic contributions of mitigating environmental problems in their communities. The work is a partnership with the Southeast Michigan Stewardship Coalition (SEMIS) and is funded by the NSF and the Spencer Foundation.

Representative publications:

Flanagan CA, Kornbluh M. How Unequal Is the United States? Adolescents’ Images of Social Stratification. Child Dev. 2019 May; 90(3):957-969. PubMed PMID: 28922474.

Flanagan C, Gallay E, Pykett A, Smallwood M. The Environmental Commons in Urban Communities: The Potential of Place-Based Education. Front Psychol.2019;10:226. PubMed PMID: 30800090; PubMed Central PMCID:  PMC6376067.

Flanagan CA, Byington R, Gallay E, Sambo A. Social Justice and the Environmental Commons. Adv Child Dev Behav. 2016;51:203-30. PubMed PMID: 27474427.

Wray-Lake L, Syvertsen AK, Flanagan CA. Developmental change in social responsibility during adolescence: An ecological perspective. Dev Psychol. 2016 Jan;52(1):130-42. PubMed PMID: 26619322; PubMed Central PMCID:  PMC5634966.