Youth Empowerment: Social and Political Mobilization and Participation

Despite their crucial role in sparking massive protests across the Middle East that have overthrown authoritarian leaders and/or pushed for reforms, youth are still under-represented in governance programs and hold less power than elders in any political system. However, they display a growing interest in participating more actively in shaping the future of their countries.  

The young population has been able to gain more presence in the public sphere through active use of new technologies, new forms of political activism, and the occupation of public space. Therefore, they explore different forms of action that range from the private to the public sphere, from formal to informal political participation, in order to draw the attention of the national government to their demands.

In this context, this Work Package aims to research patterns of mobilization, social organization, political engagement and use of social media. Socio-economic and political conditions, as well as historic perspectives will help to situate these patterns within a period, a society and historical events - such as the so-called Arab Spring – with a view to generating new, more comprehensive and contextualized knowledge on these changing dynamics.

The following research question will therefore guide this study:

“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?”


•          Policy report on structural factors hampering social movements

•          Policy report on prospects for political participation and open space for civil society

•          Cluster of Scientific papers covering a variety of issues such as informal participation in urban areas, youth protests, youth participation in politics, social media, etc.


Lebanese American University (Lebanon) and University of BREMEN (Germany)

Partners involved

Barcelona Center for International Affairs (Spain)

ANIMA Investment Network (France)

Center of Arab Women for Training and Research (Tunisia)

Centre de Recherche en Economie Appliquée pour le Développement (Algeria)

Education for Employment (Spain)

Institut des Hautes Etudes de Management (Morocco)

Middle East Technical University (Turkey)

Finnish Youth Research Network (Finland)

American University in Cairo (Egypt)

University of Liverpool (United Kingdom)

University of Lleida (Spain)

University of Milano-Bicocca (Italy)

Plovdiv University (Bulgaria)




Downloads & Sources: