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Empowering the young generation: challenges and opportunities in the triple transition SAHWA

Finnish Youth Research Society was involved in a major EU-funded research project (FP7) on young people’s transitions to adulthood in different social structures, the democratisation of societies and transitions in the context of global socio-economic and cultural changes. The project countries were Morocco, Algeria, Tunisia, Egypt and Lebanon. Finnish Youth Research Society was particularly involved in the meta-analysis of themes related to youth politicisation.

Coordinator: Cidob – Barcelona Centre for International Affairs.

Researchers: Sofia Laine, Henri Onodera, Karim Maïche, Bruno Lefort, Afifa Ltifi, Martta Myllylä

SAHWA Project General Research Questions

  • Youth Concept: What are the differences and similarities of the youth experience in Arab Mediterranean countries as compared to other parts of the world?
  • Youth Diversities: Which factors shape individual perspectives and experiences of young people’s multiple transitions (biographical, cultural, political…)?
  • Youth Consciousness: What is the impact of the ongoing political changes in the Arab Mediterranean countries on young people’s lives and on the construction of a generational consciousness and intergenerational dialogue as a new social contract?

SAHWA Specific Thematic Questions (Workpackages)

  1. Youth Opportunities: To what extent do education systems, access for employment, and consequently the distribution of income contribute to empower young people in Arab Mediterranean countries or do they reinforce existing social exclusion patterns? If the latter is the case, what other institutions, education, or labor market reforms (might) mitigate this effect?
  2. Youth Participation: What are the underlying conditions of youth engagement and mobilization? What are the forms, factors, causes and means of participation? Who are the politically active youth and who do they represent?
  3. Youth Cultures: How has the cultural construction of youth changed in Arab Mediterranean countries?  To what extent do youth appear as a condition marked by specific cultural expressions and subjectivities, rather than simply a transitional stage of life? How do the changes in the transition to adulthood impact the emergence of new cultural trends among Arab youth? What are the strategies that young men and women utilize for constructing their identity, shaping their biographical projects and giving meaning to their social world, in the changing contexts of Arab Mediterranean countries?
  4. Gender: How do gender relations in Arab youth daily life affect and are affected by the outcomes of education, employment, cultural values and practices and political participation? To what extent do civic action and public policies take into account these dynamics?
  5. Migration and mobility: What impact does the international migration of nationals have on Arab youth values, lives, and decisions?
  6. Experiences in Transition: What can we learn from the role young people played in revolutions and mass protests in Europe and Central Asia in past decades? What are the effects of the societal transitions and transformations on young people’s lives and on the construction of a generational consciousness?
  7. Public Policies and International Cooperation: Why do public institutions develop programs and policies for young people? How do they affect young people’s lives in Arab Mediterranean countries? Is the EU Cooperation relevant for the youth in the region? If so, how can that relevance be improved?

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