Why Arab Youth Migrate?

Research on Migration and Youth Prospects in the Region
19 January, 2020

The Arab Center for Research and Policy Studies has published the book Why Arab Youth Migrate: Research on Migration and Youth Prospects in the Region, featuring selected studies presented during the Center's Sixth Social Sciences and Humanities Conference convened in March 2017 in Doha on the theme of Arab youth, migration and the future – a topic of particular importance in the current Arab world context – and to the prospects of this vital age group's meeting the political and economic development challenges of the future. Youth migration has soared in an increasingly volatile, globalized and conflict-ridden modern era. Migration also forms the third most important factor in population growth, after birth and death rates, and so is a key concern for nations of the future.

The book's twenty-three chapters, covering 912 pages, feature an introduction "Migrations of Arab Youth in a Changing World" by Editor Morad Diani. The 23 chapters are presented in seven different sections; the first section with three chapters covers Arab young women's migration (legal and illegal migration to both Europe and conflict zones and subsequent conscription in extremist groups; case studies of Lebanese women's skilled labor migration to the Gulf; gender factors involved in Lebanese student international migration).

The second section's four chapters cover a critical assessment of European Union migration restriction policy and legislation and the uncertain status of Arab migrants therein (Arab youth migration to the European Union; the impact of selective EU migration policies on Arab migrants and the realities of Arab youth migrants; the depletion of Arab human resources and impact of the so-called "brain drain" on Arab migration source states; the migration of Algerian students in all of its geographical, administrative, legal-legislative and psychological dimensions).

Section three presents studies of migration realities as reflected in the media in three chapters (conflicting identities of third generation migrants in Belgian city of Anvers; the place of youth in Moroccan migration to France between 1912 and 1974; German print media images of refugees in general and Arab-Islamic refugees in particular, whether stereotypical or diverse and nuanced, and the role played by ideology).

Section four's four studies examine the promise of demographic growth and the failures of development policies (the Maghreb as a case study of the blessing and affliction of the demographic surge at the outset of the 3rd millennium; the impacts of the mismatch of education outcomes and the labor market on migration decisions of young Egyptians; an inductive approach to the socio-economics of Moroccan youth migration between illusions of development and economic realities and the spatial and social ramifications thereof; the youth of Khouribga, Morocco as a case study of integrated socio-economic development policy and investment in intangible capital towards the integration of youth in these spheres).

The fifth section comprises sociological analysis of the opportunities and threats of migration in three chapters (ambitions of youth migration and social exclusion in Algeria and Morocco; the "al-Hreik" phenomenon of clandestine migration towards Europe in Morocco; opportunities and threats to pluralism and social cohesion from migrant resettlement policies).  

Section six, "Promises of Return and Limiting the Brain Drain," contains three chapters (Arab youth reverse migration: problematic realities of inclusion and integration policies in Algerian society; the failure of efforts to stem the Algerian brain drain and promote return, or to include integration of returning youth into development roles; Algerian external migration (1991-2015): a careful look at causes and ramifications towards creation of diaspora knowledge networks, or material conditions conducive to the physical return of skilled migrants).

Section Seven, "On Palestinian Immigration and Migration to the Gulf States," comprises three chapters (Palestinian youth migration abroad: reality and desire, examining the economic and social factors impacting young peoples' aspirations and thought about migration; Palestinian refugee youth in Lebanon, examining the relationship between employment, uncertainty regarding the future and the fragility of social and political opportunities given the policy of the authoritarian Lebanese state leading to youth migration; Population Disruptions and Political Stability  as immigration  challenges in the states of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC), assessing demographic change and political stability in the countries of the Gulf Cooperation Council following the Arab Spring revolutions beginning In 2011 and analyzing the relationship between population change, national identity, and internal stability, with changes in the distribution of population and the structure of the local population standing closely related to threats to national security and stability, especially when combined with variables such as ethnic diversity, international migration, democratization and regional conflicts.

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