The Rise of the Arab Youth Paradigm: A Critical Analysis of the Arab Human Development Report 2016

  • Mayssoun Sukarieh
Keywords: Arab Human Development Report, Arab Spring, youth, youth bulge, generational conflict, over-education


This article offers a critical analysis of the Arab Human Development Report (AHDR) 2016, that was released by the United Nations Development Programme in November 2016. AHDR 2016 represents the return of the Arab Human Development project, that had been interrupted by the Arab Spring uprisings of 2011. It also epitomizes the Arab youth paradigm that has increasingly come to frame development and security discourse in the region. While there is much that is familiar in AHDR 2016, there are also concerning developments: a historical revisionism that holds Arab youth responsible for the Arab Spring, and the Arab Spring responsible for the Arab Winter that followed; and a new trend that views not just Arab youth deficits as a dangerous threat to regional and global security, but Arab youth abilities and surfeits as well.

Author Biography

Mayssoun Sukarieh

is lecturer in Political Economy of the Middle East at the King's College London.