It's Time to Talk about Youth in the Middle East as <em>The Precariat</em>

  • Linda Herrera University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Keywords: Youth, Precarity, Arab Uprisings, Policy, Dignity


In 2011, the year of the Arab uprisings, The Precariat: The New Dangerous Class by Guy Standing hit the bookstands. The concept precariat describes the condition of life and labour among educated urbanized youth in the twenty-first century more lucidly and persuasively than the key policy literature on the region, as exemplified in The Arab Human Development Report (AHDR) 2016: Youth and the Prospects for Human Development in a Changing Reality. This paper argues that any meaningful conceptualization of youth in North Africa and West Asia going forward should incorporate the notion of precariat and the condition of precariousness.

Author Biography

Linda Herrera, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

is a professor in the department of Education Policy, Organization and Leadership at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and director of the Global Studies in Education program. A social anthropologist with regional specialization in North Africa and West Asia, her research is at the intersection of critical education, youth and media studies. Her books include Cultures of Arab Schooling (with C.A. Torres), Being Young and Muslim (with A. Bayat), Revolution in the Age of Social Media and Wired Citizenship. She has a monthly column in openDemocracy, "Critical Voices in Critical Times."