SAHWA: Empowering the young generation (Algeria, Morocco, Tunesia, Egypt, Lebanon). Towards a new social contract in South and East Mediterranean countries

Backeberg, Leonie; Tholen, Jochen (2017): The frustrated generation youth exclusion in Arab Mediterranean societies, : Taylor&Francis (Journal of Youth Studies Nr. Vol 20, No 10), S. 1-20

Backeberg, Leonie; Tholen, Jochen (2018): The frustrated generation youth exclusion in Arab Mediterranean societies, Journal of Youth Studies 4 (21), 515 - 534

Etling, Andreas; Backeberg, Leonie; Tholen, Jochen (2018): The political dimension of young people’s migration intentions: evidence from the Arab Mediterranean region, Journal of Ethnic and Migration Studies

Backeberg, Leonie; Etling, Andreas; Tholen, Jochen (2019): School-to-Work Transitions in Arab Mediterranean countries, in: Sanchez Garcia, Jose; Sánchez-Montijano, Elena (Hrsg.) Youth at the Margins. Perspectives on Arab Mediterranean Youth, New York: Routledge , 144 - 161

Backeberg, Leonie; Etling, Andreas; Tholen, Jochen (2018): Juventud, educación y mercardo laboral en los países árabes mediterráneos, in: Sánchez Gracia, S.; Sanchez-Montijano, E. (Hrsg.) Jóvenes en los margenes, Barcelona: Fundación CIDOB, 153 - 175


Young people in the South and East Mediterranean area are enduring a multiple transitions. In addition to the political and socioeconomic transformations, there is the transition to adulthood from the famous tripartite division of the life cycle in preparation for professional life, working life and retirement. Other experiences of socio-economic transformation, as in East Europe, may give us learnt lessons to manage economic, political and social change. Today, there are no longer substantial differences separating the young people of west and east. Nevertheless, there are important differences in economic resources, education and social between two shores of the Mediterranean. In addition, the SEM young Europeans differ in cultural values and practices different from their counterparts in the north. Still, some processes linked to economic globalization and the precarious living conditions, labour and difficulties in individual empowerment, among others, suggest the emergence of a youth crime and its consolidation as a category of scientific analysis. This argument lets you put so research that supports integrating the European experiences in youth employment, political participation and gender equality, the youth situation in the context of transition and European double in similar scenarios on the south bank. To articulate such research dimensions the project will articulate the concept
of triple transition, taking into account political transitions, socio-economic transitions, and “invisible” transition such as cultural trends and emotions related to youth and the insecurity about the future (“resident generation”). Empirical evidence will be from case studies (Morocco, Tunisia, Algeria, Egypt and Lebanon).
SAHWA brings together a number of leading research centres from Europe and the SEM region. It proposes an interdisciplinary project that will connect specialized expertise on youth studies and robust methodology, tested in other successful FP7 projects, with extended fieldwork in the region and comprehensive analysis of current political and socio-economic transitions. The project will benefit with the lessons learnt by some of our partners in specific fields of the call (entrepreneurship, women, education and training) and by the scientific evidence obtained through other projects and research experiences in Europe and other regions of the world. Ten out of fifteen partners have already collaborated in research projects under FP7. SAHWA (which means Awakening in Arabic) will provide the grounds for large cooperative research  endeavours in the region such as the compilation of datasets on a variety of topics of significance (labour markets, social inclusion, political participation, youth culture, uses of media), the creation of an interactive map of the social context based on thematic cartographies of characteristic urban and rural spaces, a netgeography (shababpedia) compiling discourses and profiles of  the young generation, and a documentary film that will project the social context through life stories.
These outcomes will be delivered in a joint comprehensive effort. SAHWA will interview hundreds of young people and activists in social movements across the region. This will constitute an unprecedented endeavour to link research lines that are already consolidated with emerging ones within a new inter-disciplinary approach linking social-anthropology, political economy, international relations and inter-cultural studies. SAHWA will create new tools that will serve the wider scientific and policy communities as the national surveys developed in five countries in the SEM providing qualitative and quantitative indicators relevant for research objectives. With outreach built into the research strategy and proven expertise by the partners in academic work, policy advice, dissemination and management, SAHWA should have a significant impact in the Mediterranean region and in the European academic and policy-oriented communities.

01 January 2014 - 31 December 2016

Research Team:
Dr. rer. pol. Jochen Tholen, Dipl.-Kaufmann,Dipl.-Soziologe (Head of project)
Master of Science Leonie Backeberg
Dr. Britta Busse
Dr. rer. pol. Andreas Etling, Dipl.Pol.
Dr. phil. Alexandra Hashem-Wangler
M.A. Soziologie und Sozialfors Kevin Wolnik

7. Forschungsrahmenprogramm der EU SSH.2013.4.1-2