Spaces of youth politics and the Arab uprisings: environmental activism and the Algerian Hirak

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The two waves of uprisings in the Arab world in 2011, then 2019, have brought profound changes. In the second wave, including Iraq, Lebanon and Sudan, the Algerian hirak of 2019 constituted a massive political and social movement, bringing a new president and government, and affecting the popular consciousness that change was now possible. While participation in formal politics remains low, new spaces of participation have emerged. Environmental activism in the public space, as well as deeper challenges to extractivist development ideology, have inspired new practices of youth politics. From the disruption of the hirak to subsequent active citizenship, Algerians have proposed alternative development models. Drawing on findings from a participatory research project working with a network of Algerian youth researchers, and interviews with Algerian young people, associations and entrepreneurs, it is argued that the practices of the hirak have consolidated and amplified the everyday activism of Algerian civil society. Organizing environmental protests and action, Algerian youth have created new political spaces and inspired deeper reflections about the future of their country. These findings offer new insights into the longer term impacts of the Arab uprisings and of environmental activism, on spaces of youth political participation.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)(In-Press)
Number of pages17
JournalBritish Journal of Middle Eastern Studies
Early online date1 Apr 2024
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 1 Apr 2024

Bibliographical note

This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives License (, which permits non-commercial re-use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited, and is not altered, transformed, or built upon in any way. The terms on which this article has been published allow the posting of the Accepted Manuscript in a repository by the author(s) or with their consent.


The work was supported by the British Academy [YF\190115].

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geography, Planning and Development
  • Earth-Surface Processes
  • History


  • Peace and Conflict


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