Possible Tracks for the Future between the State and Civil Youths

EPC | 01 Feb 2015

Possible Tracks for the Future between the State and Civil Youths

The relationship between the regime of President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi and various generations of youths with civil orientation still represent a crisis for the political system. This crisis does not stem from the ability of these generations to tamper with the state’s stability in the coming stage but because the continuation of this troubled relationship stems from the growing security trend in dealing with these generations. This relationship also reflects the regime’s inability to adopt a strategy that secures reengagement or political integration of these generations. Neglecting the political dimension in this relationship and focusing on the economical one will have an impact on the popularity of the new regime in the coming three years, the possibility that these generations will be incubators that ensure continuity of the new regime and immunize the state against sliding into a new stage of turbulence.

Features of the Youths Problem

  1. Young generations are the fluid mass that supported the June 30th revolution, which the regime may succeed to lure or the Muslim Brotherhood may succeed in sponsoring their demands. Figures of the Central Agency for Mobilization and Statistics show that Egyptian youths of the age group 18-29 years constitute 23.7% of the total population, i.e., 20 million people. If we add to this number the age group of 29-40 years old, this number may include half of Egypt’s population. This means that youths are the largest segment in Egypt’s society, the largest portion of which are located outside the state’s bureaucracy. This in turn means that youths are economically disengaged from the state despite being affected by its economic policies. Therefore, youths susceptibility to oppose the state is high, which is in the best interest of the Muslim Brotherhood, which is trying now to reconcile somehow with civil youths,
  2. There is a rapid shift on the Egyptian youths tendencies; the period of four years after the Jan. 25, 2011 revolution has not only produced a revolutionary generation, but generations with special features that went through common experiences, non-homogeneous and represent multiple orientations, as well,

The general rule in Egypt is to deal with youths as a burden; whether by the government, various media outlets or political forces in a way that narrowed the available margin for them to take part in building the new system as stipulated in Egypt’s future roadmap. This treatment of youths is evident in the private discourse or a number of common statements such as “the revolutionaries of January were foreign agents”, “received training abroad to destabilize the country”, and what happened on Jan. 25th was a “conspiracy” and those who took part in June 30th revolution are “youth of the army”, according to the Muslim Brotherhood.

Image Source: Reuters Pictures

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