16 ‘Generation in Waiting’ or ‘Precarious Generation’? Conceptual Reflections on the Biographical Trajectories of Unemployed Graduates Activists in Morocco

  • Christoph H. Schwarz


At the start of the twenty-first century the population demographics of many of the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) countries are characterized by a ‘youth bulge’, that is, a large cohort of young people. Until the uprisings of 2011, these young people and young adults were hardly present in Western media. If considered at all, they tended to be discussed as a potential threat—associated with debates on terrorism, especially after 9/11. Here, the United Nations Arab Human Development Report (2002) represents an important intervention as it problematized the unemployment rates and general social situation of the young in the MENA region. However, this Report also perceives young people and young adults mainly as statistical data and as objects of policies that had to change. The Report did not take into account their less visible forms of agency and protest. Nor did it apply an open qualitative approach that would have asked how young adults themselves perceive and make sense of their situation. Accordingly, young people tended to be seen as politically lethargic victims of failed policies of authoritarian regimes and a ‘traditional Islamic culture’ that somehow lacked ‘development’.


Young People Social Exclusion Authoritarian Regime Muslim Society Western Public 
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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  • Christoph H. Schwarz
    • 1
  1. 1.University of MarburgMarburgGermany

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