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A different struggle for Syria : becoming young in the Middle East.

Kastrinou Theodoropoulou, A. M. (2012) 'A different struggle for Syria : becoming young in the Middle East.', Mediterranean politics., 17 (1). pp. 59-76.


Democracy, civil society and likewise their ‘promotion’ have for a long time shaped foreign policies inside as much as outside the countries of the Middle East. Since January 2011, however, these notions and policies have been challenged by a seemingly new concept, that of the ‘Arab Youth’. While the term ‘Arab Youth’ is coined to denote the grassroots nature of the uprisings, as a political category it may be reinforcing the paternalistic presumptions of authoritarian regimes and global hegemonic power structures, which use it to undermine the capacity of the wider population for democratic change. Without empirically grounded and theoretically challenging works, ‘Arab Youth’ may perpetuate the same inequalities and top-down misunderstanding that ‘democracy promotion’ connotes within the Middle East. By locating Syrian youth within contemporary struggles through ethnographic case studies, this paper aims to sketch a nuanced, complex and colourful picture of the multifaceted ways that young people reinforce, resist and negotiate power relations in contemporary Syria. Specifically, it looks at youth responses to different forms of authority such as external power (Israeli occupation), the Syrian state and the authority of parents and sectarian communities.

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Record Created:18 Sep 2012 17:05
Last Modified:03 Nov 2016 14:29

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