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Youth citizenship identities in Kuwait: the role of citizenship education and the Kuwaiti Diwaniya

Mejias, Sam ORCID: 0000-0003-3462-3815, Al-Nakib, Rania, al-Khonaini, Abdullah and Khazbak, Rana (2023) Youth citizenship identities in Kuwait: the role of citizenship education and the Kuwaiti Diwaniya. LSE Middle East Centre Kuwait Programme Paper Series (19). LSE Middle East Centre, London, UK.

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Kuwait’s nationality and citizenship rules have been contentious since the country’s independence in 1961. The rightful claim to full citizenship rights in the oil-rich Gulf state is highly restricted and divided along lines of kinship, religion, gender, ethnicity and nationality, leaving the majority of Kuwait’s population excluded from many social privileges. Shaping youth civic identities through education and media messaging is thus an important part of the state’s construction of nationalist narratives of Kuwaiti citizenship, and yet there exists no empirical understanding of how young people receive and interpret citizenship education and information, nor how youth activate their citizenship outside of school contexts. This paper shares findings from a study exploring the citizenship education and activism experiences of young people in Kuwait. Findings are based on in-person focus group discussions and interviews with more than 100 secondary school students in Kuwait, and an ethnographic study of three youth-led grassroots groups organising public debates known in Kuwait as diwaniyas. The study’s findings highlight tensions between young people’s perspectives and Kuwaiti official discourses around citizenship identities, rights and participation.

Item Type: Monograph (Working Paper)
Official URL:
Additional Information: © 2023 The Author(s)
Divisions: Middle East Centre
Subjects: J Political Science > JQ Political institutions Asia
J Political Science > JF Political institutions (General)
H Social Sciences > HM Sociology
L Education > LB Theory and practice of education
Date Deposited: 21 Sep 2023 07:36
Last Modified: 16 May 2024 12:31

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