Tunisia’s Endless Transition?

Issue Date April 2020
Volume 31
Issue 2
Page Numbers 110-124
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The year 2020 is proving to be another trying one for Tunisia’s barely decade-old democracy. Following parliamentary and presidential elections in September and October 2019—the fourth and fifth national votes held since dictator Zine al-Abidine Ben Ali fell in 2011—new president Kaïs Saïed and the unicameral 217-member national assembly face the task of consolidating democratic institutions despite economic crisis, rampant corruption, growing social and identity tensions, and widespread political estrangement. The Jasmine Revolution that began with Ben Ali’s flight into exile was able to succeed initially thanks to a deal or “pact” among his disparate opponents and lingering elements of his power structure. But it is proving very hard to move beyond that first, hard-won agreement and the consensus-based power-sharing system that it produced.

About the Authors

Daniel Brumberg

Daniel Brumberg is associate professor of government and director of Democracy and Governance Studies at Georgetown University, and a senior nonresident fellow at the Project on Middle East Democracy (POMED).

View all work by Daniel Brumberg

Maryam Ben Salem

Maryam Ben Salem is assistant professor of political studies at the University of Sousse.

View all work by Maryam Ben Salem