Youth between the ages of 15 and 29 are the single largest and fastest expanding demographic group in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA). Their role in putting dominant societal norms to a test and fueling new social, political and cultural processes can hardly be overestimated. Youth were among the primary instigators for the outbreak of the Arab uprisings, as well as the most active demographic group to have challenged authoritarianism both before and after 2010.
More than five years since the outbreak of the Arab uprisings, however, youth in the MENA still suffer from the highest unemployment rates in the world and the chronic lack of jobs and opportunities are widely considered a principal factor fueling radical ideologies in the area. While many studies have focused on youth in the Arab world, it is increasingly rare to hear how young people themselves view and interpret current developments unfolding in their society and how these relate to the ongoing international debate on the future of the Mediterranean region.
In this context, the New-Med Research Network intends to give voice to youth themselves, providing a platform for 8 young professionals to present their ideas and contribute to the ongoing debates about conflict, security and radicalisation with a view to proposing new ideas and approaches to re-launch dialogue and cooperation in the Mediterranean region. Candidates should be under the age of 32, hold an internationally valid passport from, or permanent residency in, one of the countries of the MENA region, and should be preferably based at a university, NGO, or local media outlet.
By hearing directly from a select number of young scholars of Middle Eastern or North African descent, the New Med network aims to broaden debates and include diverse perspectives, thus forging new links between generations, sectors and geographies while providing an alternative to the often European-dominated debate about current security challenges in the Mediterranean region.
- Candidates who fit the above profile are invited to submit applications to write a policy paper, between 2,500-3,000 words in length (complete with footnotes and bibliography), in English and dealing with one of the themes outlined below.
- Algeria, Bahrain, Egypt, Iran, Iraq, Jordan, Kuwait, Israel, Lebanon, Yemen, United Arab Emirates, Libya, Morocco, Oman, Palestine, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Syria and Tunisia. Applicants from Turkey are also eligible.
Successful candidates will be selected by the New-Med Steering Committee on the basis of their innovative research proposals, CV and cover letter. Final decisions will be made by the Steering Committee, which will pursue an adequate gender, age and nationality balance among the selected candidates. Successful candidates will be contacted directly by the end of October, 2016.
- Selected authors will receive a remuneration of 300 euros for the policy paper upon its final submission and after approval by the New-Med Steering Committee.
- Selected authors will also be invited to present their papers at a one-day international conference scheduled for January 2017 in Rome.
- The New-Med network will cover travel costs, accommodation (two nights) and a ‘speed-dating’ welcoming reception followed by an informal networking dinner before the conference. This will allow participants to get to know each other and to engage in network building.
- Following the conference, authors will be given the opportunity to revise and update their papers and these will be considered for publication as an IAI Research Paper within the framework of the New-Med Research Network.
Candidates should submit applications to Ms. Nathalie Champion (firstname.lastname@example.org) no later than 15 September 2016.
Applications should include:
- A Cover Letter (max 500 words) in English outlining the candidates experiences, innovative ideas/approaches and motivations for applying
- CV in English (max 3 pages)
- A 600 word abstract in English of the policy paper that includes a statement about the focus of the paper or the precise research questions and a motivation for the significance and novelty of the analysis and approach.
Deadline: 14 September 2016.
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