Letter from the Editors

By Bansal, Varun; Bradbury, Alexandra | Harvard International Review, Fall 2012 | Go to article overview

Letter from the Editors


Bansal, Varun, Bradbury, Alexandra, Harvard International Review


In the last eighteen months, the world has witnessed a series of protests and mass movements that erupted all over the globe: from the Arab Spring, to the Spanish Indignants, to the global Occupy movements. The protests carry with them a new kind of strength; one that is bound within those who have started to lead them: the youth. Young men and women have stepped out to defend the livelihoods of their loved ones and their nations.

As regime leaders and governments fail to provide for their nations, youth suffer the heaviest loss. Marc Hooghe from the University of Leuven explains that youth are fighting not only for the generations behind them, but for the security of their own futures. Facing dire employment prospects and deteriorating social security, youths are trying to protect their future livelihoods.

Protest comes in the form of youth migration and the result, as Heinz Reinders of the University of Wuerzburg explains, is an older, weaker nation that has lost its work force. On the other side of the border, migrant youth suffer high unemployment relative to the population, are voteless, are unable to receive education, and often face worse living prospects.

Under the leadership of the young, revolutions are taking on a new character; at their forefront is social media, the catalyst of revolution. The world is watching as youths leverage social media platforms to communicate, to demonstrate, and to gather. Considered an apathetic generation until recently, youths around the world have changed their image, says Kate Nevens, a specialist on Arab Spring youth movements. …

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