Call for Papers: Youth Marginalization, Education and Labour Market Trajectories in the MENA Region

Deadline: 15 August 2019

Submit your papers for the academic conference on “Youth Marginalization, Education and Labour Market Trajectories in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) Region.”

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The aim of this academic conference is to bring together leading researchers and high-level policy makers to discuss and propose creative solutions to reverse the brain drain, address the refugee crisis and enhance education and labour market outcomes for all.

Nine years after the Arab Spring, youth unemployment rates in the MENA region are still double the overall unemployment rate and among the highest in the world. As the conflict in Syria stretches into its eighth year, the prolonged presence of Syrian refugees alongside the protracted situation of Palestinian refugees has fueled policy debates in host countries and globally about the education and labour market outcomes of refugees in protracted refugee situations.

Poor labour market outcomes are caused by a number of factors including legal status, education and training systems that are not producing the required skills, and youth labour market aspirations that are not in line with changing labour market demand. Skills mismatches and the exclusion of segments of youth from the labour market have negative implications on individuals and on the economy, leading to brain drain, skills underutilization and marginalization.

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Papers can address one or more of the following themes:

  • Skills shortages and labour market mismatch, looking at the individual, economic and/or welfare consequences of education and skills mismatch
  • Social mobility and equality in access to quality education
  • Youth marginalization and individual and economic costs to being neither in employment nor in education or training (NEET)
  • The impact of legal and cultural status on education and labour market trajectories, including for refugees in PRS
  • The school-to-work transition and the relationship between education and employment for refugees caught in protracted refugee situations
  • High skilled migration and the brain drain
  • Disability and employment
  • Other related topics


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They invite contributions that help them consider better ways of conceptualizing and measuring the school-to-work transition, skills utilization and access to quality education and decent work for all. Contributions to the conference can take a number of forms:

  • Full academic paper sessions: Each panel discussion will include 2 or 3 papers, with 20 minutes allocated for the presentation and discussion of each paper. Scholarly papers may focus on conceptual issues, or present empirical work or critical reflections on any of the themes of the conference. For individual academic paper submissions, please send an abstract of 500-1000 words, with a list of 3-5 keywords.
  • Author meets critics sessions: An author will present a summary of a recent book or research project. To present recent publications, please send a summary of your book/ research project (500-1,000 words) with 3-5 keywords.
  • Roundtables: Policymakers or practitioners participating in roundtable discussions will explore practical solutions to the brain drain, skills utilization or access to quality education and decent work. To propose a roundtable discussion, please send an abstract (500-1,000 words), alongside a list of participants with their respected affiliations and a list of 3-5 keywords.

How to Apply

Applicants must submit their proposals for the conference at the address given on the website.

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