This paper seeks to add to debates over the contribution that a political economy approach can make to understanding the current condition of youth, specifically narrowing the focus to youth policy. The paper suggests an approach which locates youth not as a class in itself, but as being at the epicentre of the growing labour precariat. Youth policy, formulated and disseminated through the structures and hierarchies of global neo-liberal capital via the positive development approach, constructs narratives of youth as a social category which subordinate it to the changing needs of the labour market and disrupt the emergence of broad-based resistance or class consciousness. In Ben Ali’s Tunisia, youth policy had the added task of servicing the authoritarian reproduction of the regime, creating tensions and contradictions between the objectives of the various global and local structures and hierarchies of power at play.
Murphy, E. (2017). A Political Economy of Youth Policy in Tunisia. New Political Economy, 22(6), 676-691. https://doi.org/10.1080/13563467.2017.1311848