The Arab Spring: Results of The Arab Youth Opinion Poll - Al Jazeera Center for Studies

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The Arab Spring: Results of The Arab Youth Opinion Poll

AJC S has conducted an opinion poll in Arab Spring countries to reveal the positions of the youth on post-revolution developments. The poll covered issues of identity and belonging, reasons behind the revolutions, the factors of their success, and their prospects in Tunisia, Egypt, Libya and Yemen.

Al Jazeera Centre for Studies

Tuesday, 30 July 2013 10:32 GMT

 

Source [Al Jazeera]

NEWS STORY

The majority of youth from Tunisia, Libya and Yemen consider themselves Muslims before affiliating themselves with their nationalistic identities, a poll conducted by Al Jazeera Studies Centre has revealed.

In Egypt, however, young people prioritised their identity as Egyptians over religious affiliation, the study, published on Monday, showed.

The study also found that most of the 8,045 young men and women surveyed from the four so-called Arab Spring nations, which saw massive protests that led to political regime change, consider Sharia, or Islamic law, an essential source of legislation.

Support for the implementation of Sharia was the largest among Libyan youth (at about 93 percent), followed by Yemen (89 percent), Tunisia (64 percent), and Egypt (57 percent).

Meanwhile, the majority of youth from those countries, aged between 17 and 31,  said they supported the establishment of a civil state with little military involvement. Around 84 percent of Yemeni youth said they wanted to see the army kept out of public life, followed by Libya (83 percent), Egypt (72 percent), and Tunisia (69 percent).

The survey, led by the Centre’s Decision Analytics Department and in cooperation with Sigma Conseil research company, was conducted between April 15 and May 25, 2013.

The study does not take into account the sentiment among Egyptian youth from June 30 onward, when massive protests swept the country against now ousted president Mohamed Morsi and in support of the military.

Egypt, according to the survey, was the only country where more respondents said they felt Egyptian before identifying themselves as Muslim. Youth in Tunisia, Libya and Yemen prioritised association with Islam to nationalistic identity.

In terms of party affiliation, the results showed a clear reluctance among youth in the four countries to associate themselves with political blocs. More than 96 percent of respondents in both Egypt and Tunisia said they did not belong to political parties. In Libya, 92 percent of youth said they were not members of a political party.

Yemeni respondents expressed the most willingness to associate themselves with political groups, the poll showed. More than 35 percent said they were involved in political parties.

Researchers said that abstention from party affiliation was clearly reflected in the youth’s feeling of alienation from the newly-formed institutions.
The results of the survey showed that the majority of young people did not feel represented in elected parliaments and councils formed following the Arab Spring.

In Tunisia, 81 percent said the deputies of the Constituent Assembly did not represent them, while only 17 percent felt otherwise. In Egypt, 72 percent of the respondents said they did not feel that MPs represented them. Only 24 percent believed they did. In Libya, 62 percent of young people believed the National Conference did not represent them.

Despite their disenchantment with their countries’ political institutions, most Libyan youth considered the revolt that ousted Muammar Gaddafi successful, the study showed.

In Tunisia, meanwhile, more than half of the respondents said the revolution that toppled Zine El Abidine Ben Ali had failed in achieving its main objective.

Those who considered the revolutions in their countries unsuccessful amounted to 44 percent in Egypt and almost 38 percent in Yemen.

Young respondents in all four nations agreed that their countries are facing several challenges.

Libyans thought that insecurity was the major challenge their country is facing, as many armed groups continue to operate outside the state’s authority. Meanwhile, the majority of Yemeni and Tunisian respondents believed unemployment is the most prominent problem their countries face.

 

 

INTRO:

More than two years since the eruption of uprisings across several countries in the Arab World, the political scene continues to be disorganised. The fate of the so-called Arab Spring that ousted the regimes in Tunisia, Egypt, Libya and Yemen remains open to various possibilities.

Youth were considered the main social force that sparked the revolution and brought about the change, but they do not seem to have a grip over the course their countries are moving and the new institutions of governance that emerged do not seem to correspond with the role the youth exercised.

Al Jazeera Centre for Studies recently conducted an opinion poll, surveying 8,045 young men and women from  Tunisia, Egypt, Libya and Yemen regarding their views on their revolutions - how successful they were and what threats they face.

Carried out in cooperation with Sigma Conseil research company, the study - conducted between  April 15 and May 25, 2013 - attempted to understand how youth aged between 17 and 31 identified themselves and how much they felt represented in the political arena.

Dynamics

When youth were asked why uprisings erupted in their countries, most cited rampant corruption and the deterioration of the economic situation. In Egypt, 71 percent of the respondents said corruption was the main reason for rebellion. Yemenis and Tunisians cited the economic conditions. In Libya, however, the absence of political and civil liberties was the main causes of the revolution, according to the youth interviewed for the study. More than half of the Tunisian respondents cited the absence of dignity as a reason for the uprising.

Media

The respondents from the four nations agreed that media and social network had a powerful role throughout the protest movements in their countries. 84 percent of Tunisians interviewed cited social networking as a factor in the success of the revolution. In Egypt, that figure dropped to 45 percent. The majority of Yemenis and Libyans regarded the role of Arab media to be an important factor in the success of their uprisings.

Identity

The majority of youth from Tunisia, Libya, and Yemen considered themselves Muslims before affiliating themselves with their nationalistic identities. Egypt is an exception, where almost 67 percent of respondents saw themselves as Egyptian first. Most of the youth considered Sharia, or Islamic law, an essential source of legislation. Support for the implementation of Sharia was the largest among Libyan youth (at 93 percent), followed by Yemen (89 percent), Tunisia (64 percent), and Egypt (57 percent).

Elections

The youth participation in election was the highest among Libyans, the poll showed, with 68 percent of respondents saying they took part in their country’s national elections. More than half of those surveyed in Libya believed that the elections were free and fair. In Egypt only 18 percent believed their country’s polls were free and fair and 40 percent thought the process was marred with problems. At least 56 percent of Egypt’s respondents said they had participated in the elections. In Tunisia, 49 percent of those interviewed said they participated in the national elections and 41 percent thought the polls were free and fair. No figures were available for Yemen.

Revolution Assessment

Despite their disenchantment with their countries political institutions, most Libyan youth considered the revolt that ousted Muammar Gaddafi successful, the study showed. In Tunisia, meanwhile, more than half of the respondents said the revolution that toppled Zine El Abidine Ben Ali has failed in achieving its main objective. Those who considered the revolution unsuccessful stood at 44 percent in Egypt and almost 38 percent in Yemen.

Future

Young respondents in all four nations agreed that their countries are facing several challenges. Libyans thought that insecurity was the major challenge their country was facing, as many armed groups continued to operate outside the state’s authority.  The majority of Yemeni respondents and Tunisian respondents believed unemployment was the most prominent problem their countries faced.  An overwhelming majority of youth in both Egypt and Tunisia believed that there need to be reviews of policies and of the politicians implementing them.

 

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