The tide that failed to rise: Young people’s politics and social values in and after the arab uprisings

Pamela Abbott, Andrea Teti, Roger Sapsford

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1 Citation (Scopus)

Abstract

The story of the ‘Arab Spring’ as a revolt of young people against autocracy does not stand up to survey analysis at country level. Data from the Arab Transformations Survey show that young people were over-represented as participants, but it is necessary to stretch the concept of ‘youth’ into middle age in some countries to say this, there were plenty of older participants, and the protests were aimed less at political rights and more at social justice. Fundamental political changes have been expected in MENA which would sweep away autocratic rule in favour of democratisation, as the values successive younger generations became individualised, liberalised and secularised under
the influence of economic and market development and the spread of education, but there is very little evidence that this is what occurred in the Arab Uprisings. Whether young or older, protestors were looking for regime change, an end to corruption and a reduction in IMF-inspired austerity, but political freedoms and democratic governance do not appear to have been at the top of their agenda.
Original languageEnglish
JournalMediterranean Politics
Early online date22 Jun 2018
DOIs
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 22 Jun 2018

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tide
politics
political right
revolt
dictatorship
IMF
political change
corruption
social justice
democratization
protest
Values
regime
governance
market development
market
evidence
economics
education
economic development

Keywords

  • MENA
  • Arab Uprisings
  • Youth
  • Modernisation Theory
  • Secularisation
  • Gender attitudes

Cite this

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abstract = "The story of the ‘Arab Spring’ as a revolt of young people against autocracy does not stand up to survey analysis at country level. Data from the Arab Transformations Survey show that young people were over-represented as participants, but it is necessary to stretch the concept of ‘youth’ into middle age in some countries to say this, there were plenty of older participants, and the protests were aimed less at political rights and more at social justice. Fundamental political changes have been expected in MENA which would sweep away autocratic rule in favour of democratisation, as the values successive younger generations became individualised, liberalised and secularised underthe influence of economic and market development and the spread of education, but there is very little evidence that this is what occurred in the Arab Uprisings. Whether young or older, protestors were looking for regime change, an end to corruption and a reduction in IMF-inspired austerity, but political freedoms and democratic governance do not appear to have been at the top of their agenda.",
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