Youth Networks, Civil Society and Social Entrepreneurship.


Youth Networks, Civil Society and Social Entrepreneurship

Case Studies in Post-Revolutionary Arab World

Omar Bortolazzi



Formato Dimensione Pagine Lingua Anno ISBN
LIBRO 17x24 200 Italiano 2015 978-88-6923-046-2


While the political aspects of the so-called ‘Arab Spring’ have been widely scrutinized, one of the most overlooked factors of the uprisings has been the development of social networks that came out almost spontaneously from the uprisings. In small villages and in big cities, the old regimes had completely failed to provide infrastructures, decent housings, equal opportunities and basic social justice. The demise of authoritarian rulers and the mass protest movements that preceded it, proved the common, ridiculous stereotype of Arab populations as passive, anaesthetized or paralyzed by fear wrong. Although the media encouraged the idea of social networks such as Facebook or Twitter as revolutionary methods, it was the traditional lower-middle class (the so-called ‘civil society’) that enabled a series of self-help mechanisms, activities and networks that have been widely ignored in the coverage of the Arab uprisings. (Young) people started to participate actively in the foundation of a new development model in countries where the actions to create CSOs to promote grassroots development have been thwarted by restrictive state regulations. What makes NGOs and civil society movements of the post-Arab spring different is the collective effort created by the people actively working in them. These are collective grassroots efforts, not pseudo-philanthropic endowments established by notables strongly affi liated with the corrupted regime. These grassroots movements are simply trying to fi ll in where the state is lacking. Omar Bortolazzi is a fellow researcher and coordinator of the Philanthropy and Social Innovation Research Centre (PHaSI) at the Department of History and Cultures at the University of Bologna. His research interests focus mainly on political and social development in the Middle East, politics and civil society in Lebanon, Saudi Arabia and GCC countries, Lebanon’s Shi‘a, Arab and comparative philanthropy, palliative and end-of-life care in the Middle East.

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