POWER2YOUTH - 'Freedom, Dignity and Justice'

Project Description

The 2010-2011 youth-led wave of protests in the South and East Mediterranean, could be described as the coming on the scene of a new generation united by a shared experience of marginalisation and by new ways to protest and act. Important as this phenomenon could be for the future of the SEM, it still escapes the main frames of analysis utilised by academic research. Youth studies in the SEM, while producing important findings and insights, have failed so far to give a multi-dimensional and comprehensive understanding of the economic, political and social disadvantages faced by youth in the region and of the possible evolution of young people’s role in national or regional developments.

This project aims at filling this important gap in our knowledge of the SEM by offering a comprehensive multi-level, interdisciplinary and gender-sensitive approach to the understanding of youth in the region. By combining the economic, political and socio-cultural spheres and a macro (policy/institutional), meso (organisational) and micro (individual) level analysis, POWER2YOUTH will explore the root causes and complex dynamics of youth exclusion, while investigating the factors fostering youth inclusion.

Building on a conceptualisation of youth that gives prominence to youth as potential agents of change, the project starts out from the assumption that youth exclusion is the result of unequal power relations in society, in as much as effective youth inclusion can only be fostered by a bottom-up process of transformation of the systemic inequalities that lead to exclusion in the first place. From this premise comes the project’s emphasis on the study of the potentially transformative impact of individual and collective youth agency searching for instances of empowerment leading to active youth participation in society and overall change. POWER2YOUTH will finally produce innovative and concrete policy recommendations.

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Selected Publications