With regional economies on the brink, Arab leaders worry they won’t be able to meet expectations of the Arab youth. The Arab region is the youngest in the world–half its people have not yet reached the age of 30–and youth unemployment is staggering. The West’s narrative is that yearning for democracy inspired the Arab Spring, but it was more due to economic hardship. Now, “nohing can be more dangerous than educated youths for whom there are no jobs.”
What’s the Big Idea?
The crisis everyone recognizes is that much of the Arab world has undergone a revolution of sorts, but a leaderless revolution, at least so far. And the common consensus is that economic, and even social conditions, are going to get much worse before they improve. This was true of Indonesia after Suharto, the Philippines after Marcos, and Eastern Europe after the first euphoria of release from Soviet power.