Is There A Youth Politics?

  • Asef Bayat University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign


What is the nature of 'youth politics', if any? This article proposes an analytical lens which may help us consider ‘youth’ as a useful category, and 'youth politics' in terms of the conflicts and negotiations over claiming or defending youthfulness. Understood in this fashion, youth politics is mediated by the position of the young in class, gender, racial, sexual and other involved social structures. It concludes that the political outlook of a young person may be shaped not just by the exclusive preoccupation with 'youthfulness', but also by his/her position in society as citizen, poor, female, or a member of a sexual minority.

Author Biography

Asef Bayat, University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign

is Professor of Sociology, and Bastian Professor of Global and Transnational Studies, at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign, USA. His research interests navigate between social movements and social change, to religion and public life, to urban space and politics. His latest book is Revolution without Revolutionaries: Making Sense of the Arab Spring (Stanford University Press, 2017).


How to Cite
Bayat, A. “Is There A Youth Politics?”. Middle East - Topics & Arguments, Vol. 9, Dec. 2017, pp. 16-24, doi:10.17192/meta.2017.9.7219.