Youth politics in MENA and beyond: Activism, political participation, and inclusive peacebuilding




The global increase in the youth population and the potential roles of young individuals in instigating or upholding conflicts have been extensively documented. However, their valuable contributions to peace establishment often go unnoticed. While young people can sometimes introduce conflict or instability in post-conflict communities, they also play a crucial role in the forefront of peacebuilding efforts, aiding in the reconstruction of civil society and local economies. Unfortunately, their positive contributions often remain unnoticed due to their lack of representation in politics and their marginalised position in decision-making processes within societies affected by conflict. These positive contributions are further hampered by the inequalities that young people encounter in accessing economic, political, and socio-cultural resources. Moreover, many young individuals confront dual marginalisation due to factors such as gender, disability, religion, or ethnicity, which are frequently disregarded in existing literature and programs aimed at understanding the obstacles to youth engagement. 


Recognising that international entities are progressively realising the necessity of actively involving young people in shaping societies, using examples from Algeria, Kuwait, Kurdistan, Bosnia and Colombia, this panel aims to explore how the peacebuilding sector can effectively incorporate young individuals into endeavours focused on achieving political transformation and fostering positive peace. The discussion will delve into strategies to ensure that the voices of young people are not only heard but also acted upon, particularly in societies where the marginalisation of youth has historically contributed to their involvement in violence. Additionally, the panel will examine the responsibilities of others in creating opportunities for youth participation. 


The speakers include: 

Dr. Jessica Northey, Centre for Trust, Peace and Social Relations, Coventry University) 
Adel Chiheb, (Jijel University Algeria) 
Dr Justina Pinkeviciute (Centre for Trust, Peace and Social Relations, Coventry University) 
Dr Egoitz Gago Anton (Universidad Complutense Madrid) 
Dr Elly Harrowell (Centre for Trust, Peace and Social Relations, Coventry University) 
Shival Fazil (SIPRI, Stockholm) 
Dr. Michaelina Jakala (Centre for Trust, Peace and Social Relations, Coventry University) 
Abdullah Al-Khonaini (Durham University) 

The agenda of this meeting is empty