Linking Social Capital: Political Confidence among Youth in Occupied Palestine [the West Bank and Gaza Strip]

April 12, 2017

This is a cross-sectional study of a representative sample of 18 to 29 years old Palestinians from the West Bank and Gaza Strip, aiming to uncover youth reports on feelings of exclusion/inclusion. The study reveals low levels of linking social capital among Palestinian youth, that is, a lack of confidence in governmental institutions and political parties, and a reflection of youth feelings of exclusion. Results demonstrate a deep-seated lack of trust, and understandable disappointment with those in power and those who have power over young people’s lives. Such views are likely to be relevant to all Palestinians in general. The difference here is that youth are just beginning to build their lives as adults, yet lack the support needed from those in power, and consequently, the ability to properly function as adult humans. Palestinian young people lack the space for active participation within Palestinian society, with no end in sight. This contrasts with Palestinian youth’s active participation against Israeli military rule and injustice, and raises the question of what transition to adulthood means in such circumstances.

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