Social representations of the Arab youth: Factors and trends of regional development

The article examines the situation in the Middle East and North Africa region (the so-called ‘Afrasian arc of instability’) in the context of the social representations of the local youth. Based on the empirical study conducted with the authors’ method, the authors assess the youth’s ideas about the most important factors for the effective social-political development of the region. The research methodology is based on the analysis of 12 trends that determine the regional development in the Arab East. The study allowed to assess the social-political potential of the Arab youth as a specific and influential demographic group ready to contribute to the development agenda for the Arab East. The authors identify the Arab youth’s social preferences regarding the main development trends in the region; show that in the political struggle, young people do not act alone, their aspirations are closely intertwined with national goals; prove that there is an active search for ways out of the economic crisis, for strengthening national sovereignty and ensuring peace and security. All these problems have become urgent in recent years in the Middle East region for a number of its countries strives to solve difficult problems of overcoming the destructive impact of the Arab Spring. The article presents the youth priority requests such as demands for the quality legal relations, developing national idea, and ensuring national security by strengthening military force and possessing weapons of restraint. One of the basic preferences of the Arab youth is preserving sovereignty, reducing external influences and creating a strong alliance of the Middle Eastern states. Rapprochement with leading world powers and regional associations (named as West, East and Russia) seems to be on the periphery of the Arab youth interests. © V.I. Belov, E.M. Savicheva, E.V. Kharitonovа, 2021.

Belov V.I. 1 , Savicheva E.M. 1 , Kharitonovа E.V.2
Российский университет дружбы народов
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  • 1 RUDN University, Miklukho-Maklaya St., 6, Moscow, 117198, Russian Federation
  • 2 Institute for African Studies of RAS, Spiridonovka St., 30/1, Moscow, 123001, Russian Federation
Development trends; East; Middle east; North Africa; Russia; Social representations; West; Youth
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