Citizenship is a contested historical process consisting of social relationships, both formal and informal, in complex environments. The active engagement of marginalized groups and policies responsive to diverse needs are prerequisites for inclusive citizenship.
This paper outlines how Arab countries have made significant strides in terms of human development since their independence; or the establishment of their modern state. However, this progress has been significantly hampered by the devasting effects of conflict in the region in recent years.
As momentum grows towards the drawing-up of new social contracts in Arab countries, this paper outlines the political and historical context for today’s societal dynamics – providing a framework to understand how the parameters of citizenship have been set across the region.
It assesses how and why Arab citizens are being left behind by various forces of exclusion, while also highlighting the precarious situation of those living in; and fleeing from crisis countries. Finally, it identifies promising emerging trends, from the amplified voice of youth to the increased attention on sustainable development.
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