Social IssuesSep 01, 2022
The Critical State of Youth in Lebanon: Past Breaking Point and Organizing for Change
- Fadi Nicholas Nassar
Three years into Lebanon’s debilitating and still unresolved crisis, the country’s future lifeline—its youth—are being pushed past breaking point. On the one hand, the magnitude of the crisis has shaken the popularity and public legitimacy of traditional parties, presenting new openings for alternative or independent candidates to compete over electoral slots. On the other, the weight of the pressure brought on by the protracted crisis is fueling despair and undermining confidence in the political process. Where do youth stand amidst such an uncertain and volatile context?
To answer that question, this report sheds light on the political objectives and concerns of youth voters, aged 21 to 29, and unpacks the strategies, tools, and challenges facing youth campaigners in the syndicate and university elections in the build-up to the 2022 parliamentary elections. In doing so, this paper seeks to identify the major priorities and concerns of Lebanese youth and assess the campaigning, organizational, and leadership capacities of youth movements in elections since 2019.Fadi Nicholas Nassar is a research fellow at the Lebanese Center for Policy Studies (LCPS). His research focuses on international humanitarian and relief interventions in fragile and conflict settings, popular uprisings and social movements, and Lebanese and Middle Eastern politics. He is Assistant Professor of Political Science and International Affairs and Director of the Institute for Social Justice and Conflict Resolution at the Lebanese American University (LAU). Fadi holds a PhD from the War Studies Department at King’s College London. A graduate of Georgetown University’s Edmund A. Walsh School of Foreign Service, he also received a Master of Public Administration from Columbia University.