Political attitudes and participation among young Arab workers: a comparison of formal and informal workers in five Arab countries

Walid Merouani*, Rana Jawad

*Corresponding author for this work

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Abstract

Informal employment has long been a feature of Arab economies and as such, better understanding of the political participation of informal workers is important, especially given their involvement in social uprisings, such as during the Arab Spring in 2011. This paper tests for the first time the impact of informality of labour on political participation in five Arab countries: Algeria, Egypt, Lebanon, Morocco, and Tunisia. By using the European Union’s 2018 SAHWA survey and logistic regression models, we are able to show evidence of an association between political participation and informality through the negative impact of the latter on four indicators of political participation: affiliation to political parties/movements; frequency of participation in political activities; frequency of speaking about politics; and voting in elections. Furthermore, the paper confirms that age, gender and education are significant predictors of political participation in the countries analysed. We argue that these findings have relevant policy implications.
Original languageEnglish
Article number503
Number of pages24
JournalSocial Sciences
Volume11
Issue number11
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 31 Oct 2022

Bibliographical note

Funding:
This research has benefited from funding provided by the AHRC/GCRF project AH/T008067/1. The Sahwa survey has received funding from the European Commission: FP7/2007-2013 under Convention No. 613174 (accessed on 30 June 2021).

Keywords

  • informal workers
  • social security
  • political participation
  • voting
  • Arab countries

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