Approaches to Youth Violence in Jordan
Youth violence, particularly targeting the state as well as engagement in violent extremism, has been a persistent feature in Jordan over the past decade. There are numerous factors driving this: economic, political and social marginalization of young people; a search for purpose (in the case of religious extremism); and ineffective youth policies on the part of the government. Other key forms of marginalization in Jordan are ethnicity, gender and disability. With regard to community security mechanisms, Jordan has made efforts to introduce community policing. These link in with traditional tribal dispute resolution mechanisms, but the impact on youth is unclear. Psychosocial support for youth is important. Interventions will vary depending on needs and context, but sport and education (learning spaces) are especially effective avenues to reach young people. This review drew on a mixture of academic and grey literature. While it found significant literature about youth protests in Jordan (in particular in the early 2010s) and on drivers of youth violence, as well as other forms of marginalization in the country, there was very little on community security mechanisms – whether formal or informal. The review identified several sources of recommendations for psychosocial support programming (for youth), but few evaluations of such interventions specifically targeting youth in other countries. Overall, there are gaps in the evidence base, highlighting the need for further research.