Understanding Maghrebi Societies

The Project

“Public Problems and Activism in the Maghreb. Political and social participation of youth at local and transnational level” (CSO2014-52998-C3-2-P) is a Project funded by the R+D+i National Plan (2015-2017) of the Spanish Ministry of Economy and Competitiveness.



The wave of protest in North African Countries during the 2010-2011 winter, known as The “Arab spring” or “Democratic Spring” has induced a greater interest in the youth in the Maghreb. But this sudden interest has too often driven to produce superficial analyses under pressure for quick results. Consequently, five years after the massive mobilizations in 2011, the information available about who are the Youth in the Maghreb, what they do, what they aspire to, what means they have or what is the role they are willing to leave to their elders in order to achieve their aspirations, is still too poor. At the same time and considering the experts opinions and the national and international agencies discourses, we are faced with a paradox that states: although youth is a public problem, it is also the large hope for the future in the North of Africa. There is also a lack of information about the youth attitude toward those mobilizations, the major changes occurred in 2011 and what is the present youth participation in the societal and political life in the different countries in the Maghreb.



This Project focus in the analyse of the youth social and political participation in the Maghreb considering as starting point two facts. On the one hand, the reiterated complaint of lack of youth political integration made by the Public Authorities, the Media and the experts reporting on the youth in North Africa, and on the other hand, the public presentation of this generation as the main protagonist of 2011 mobilizations that questions the general idea of depoliticising or apathy of youth.

Three aims are central to the proposed research:

1) to analyze the discourses on youth in the Maghreb, especially those of experts and the media, and their implications in the construction of Youth as a public problem and in the implementation of public policies as answers to this public problem;

2) to analyze the offer of political and social participation and representation of young people with particular interest in the attitudes, motivations and militant trajectories.

3) to analyze the attractiveness of various protest repertories of collective action toward young people, and in particular those with potential for radicalization.