Books and Journals about the Recent Global Uprisings

An online magazine ROAR provides current information but not specifically about youth. The online journal Interface: A Journal For and About Social Movements is one of the few scholarly journals to discuss the recent uprisings. The three British editors began publishing the journal in 2009. An exception is Social Movement Studies published an issue on Occupy in 2012.[i] Looking at all their issues from 2011 on, only one included youth in the title, but it focused on organization rather than young people—“’Young People Took to the Streets and All of the Political Parties Got Old’: the 15 M Movement in Spain” (2011). Other social movement publications are Mobilization in press since 1996 and its blog Mobilizing Ideas.[ii] Current Sociology published an issue on “From Indignation to Occupation” in 2013 reporting on the 2011 uprisings but without focus on youth.[iii]

A scan of the Journal of Youth Studies from 2011 found only 26 titles on youth activism or political attitudes out of 224 articles and 10 of the titles were about youth attitudes towards traditional politics.[iv] Surprisingly, not one article was about the uprisings of 2011 to 2014 discussed in this book. A similar search of the Journal of Adolescence found only one issue on political engagement but not rebellions (June 2012), with no other such articles in other issues.[v]



[iii] DOI:10.1177/0011392113479748


Following are the topics and date posted online: Greek youth’s protests in 2008 (January 2011), theories of youth resistance (June 2012), Canadian youth activism for people with disabilities (June 2012), a student occupation of their university in 2010 (November 2012), University of Ottawa students’ political engagement (June 2012), youth involvement in politics in Scotland (June 2012), how to involve young Canadian women in provincial public police development (August 2012), Peruvian youth activism for sexual health (November 2012), Spanish youths’ attitudes towards politics—based on interviews (November 2012), British youth’s political participation (September 2013), Australian girls’ attitudes towards women leaders (January 2013), youth protests in Africa (march 2013), Australian teens political interests (May 2013), young men’s political participation in an English town (September 2013), influences on British youth’s political participation (September 2013), theories of youth agency (September 2013).

Alcina Honwana. Youth and Revolution in Tunisa. Zed Books, 2013.

Ahmed Tohamy Abdelhay. Youth Activism in Egypt: Islamism, Political Protest and Revolution. Library of Modern Middle East Studies, 2014. ($104)

Linda Herrera, editor. Wired Citizenship: Youth Learning and Activism in the Middle East. Routledge, 2014

Jessica Taft. Rebel Girls: Youth Activism and Social Change Across the Americas. New York University Press, 2011.

Maria de los Angeles Torres, Irene Rizzini and Norma Del Rio. Citizens in the Present: Youth Civic Engagement in the Americas. University of Illinois, 2013.



Five books published from 2012 to 2014 cover the global uprisings but not with analysis of the role of young people: Paul Mason, Why It’s Still Kicking Off Everywhere: The New Global Revolutions; an anthology by Anya Schiffrin and Eamon Kircher-Allen, From Cairo to Wall Street: Voices From the Global Spring including activists in their 20s and 30s; and an Internet ebook by Werner Puschra and Sara Burke, eds., The Future We the People Need: Voices from New Social Movements, also about various ages of activists. They wrote another pertinent book available online, World Protests 2006-2013. The 2014 books are They Can’t Represent us! Reinventing Democracy from Greece to Occupy by Marina Sitrin; Dario Azzellini and Cristina Flesher Fominaya’s Social Movements and Globalization: How Protests, Occupations and Uprisings are Changing the World; and Occupy! A Global Movement (2014), a $150 anthology edited by Jenny Pickerill, et al. I

Numerous books examine the recent Arab Uprisings as listed in the endnote, but most without a focus on youth–not even a chapter title with youth in it.[i] The exceptions are 2012 anthologies featured revolutionary voices of activists in their 20s and 30s: Anya Schiffrin and Eamon Kircher-Allen, From Cairo to Wall Street: Voices From the Global Spring and Maytha Alhassena and Ahmed Shigab-Eldin’s Demanding Dignity: Young Voices From the Front Lines of the Arab Revolutions (2012). These books were followed in 2013 by Youth and the Revolution in Tunisia by Alcinda Honwana, Talking to Arab Youth: Revolution and Counterrevolution in Egypt and Tunisia. In 2014 The New Arabs by Juan Cole was published along with Wired Citizenship: Youth Learning and Activism in the Middle East. Ahmed Tohamy Abdelhay’s Youth Activism in Egypt was published in 2015 ($104).

Arab Dawn: Arab Youth and the Demographic Dividend They Will Bring (2015) by Bessma Momani does feature youth with a positive viewpoint, to counter the prevailing negative view of the Middle East in the West. She thinks the Arab Spring was the beginning of a helpful social and cultural revolution. The youth bulge will lead to a “social and cultural revolution” because young people support democracy, entrepreneurialism—especially young women, and globalism. These attitudes are facilitated by ICT (women write half the blogs) and the growth in university attendance, creating a “hybrid identity.” Momani observes that youth reject the choice of secular versus Islamist as they develop a hybrid of Western and Islamic thought. She predicts that change will be most evident in Saudi Arabia where many young people attend universities abroad.

[i] Ashraf Khalil. Inside the Egyptian Revolution and the Rebirth of a Nation. St. Martin’s Press, 2011.

Marwan Bishara. The Invisible Arab: The Promise and Peril of the Arab Revolutions. Nation Books, 2012.

Bassam Haddad, R. Bsheer and Z Abu-Rish, eds. The Dawn of the Arab Uprisings. Pluto Press, 2012.

Nouehied, Lin & Alex Warren. The Battle for the Arab Spring: Revolution, Counter-revolution and the Making of a New Era. Yale University Press, 2012.

Nasser Weddady and Sohrab Ahmari, eds. Arab Spring Dreams. Palgrave, 2012.

Marc Lynch. The Arab Uprising. Public Affairs, 2012.

Gilbert Achcar. The People Want: A Radical Exploration of the Arab Spring. University of California Press, 2013.

Layla al-Zubaidi and Matthew Cassel, eds. Diaries of an Unfinished Revolution: Voices from Tunis to Damascus. Penguin Books, 2013.

Paul Danahar. The New Middle East: The World After the Arab Spring. Boomsbury Press, 2013.

Alcinda Honwana. Youth and the Revolution in Tunisia. Zed, 2013.

Also see syllabus for course on “The Arab Spring” such as

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