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E. V.B.b.2. Tunisia

As the uprising in Tunisia came first, it attracted immediate attention, but subsequently has not been as well written up as Egypt. Tunisia appeared initially to be the most successful ‘Arab Spring’ democratic transition, but the assassination of a major opposition figure, Chokri Belaid, in February 2013 and the subsequent protests indicated the problems still facing those seeking a stable democracy.

Alexander, Christopher, Tunisia: Stability and Reform in the Modern Maghreb, New York, Routledge, 2010, pp. 160

Relevant for background to the events of 2011.

Bamyeh, Mohammed, The Tunisian Revolution: Initial Reflections, Arab Studies Institute, 2011

Part 2 of the article, published on 21 January 2011, is available at

Democracy, Journal of, The Upheavals in Egypt and Tunisia, Journal of Democracy, Vol. 22, issue 3 (July), 2011, pp. 3-48

This section includes three articles: Schraeder, Peter J. and Hamadi Redissa, ‘Bem Ali’s Fall’, pp. 3-19; Howard, Philip N. and Muzammil M. Hussein, ‘The role of the digital media’, pp. 35-48, compares Tunisia and Egypt; Masoud, Tarek, ‘The Road to (and from) Liberation Square’, pp. 20-34, is primarily about Egypt.

Masri, Sfawan, Tunisia: An Arab Anomaly, New York, Colombia University Press, 2019, pp. 416 pb

The author traces the history of Tunisia's politics back to the 19th century and early reforms relating to religion, education and women's rights, to explain the relatively liberal context in the 21st century.  Masri therefore argues that Tunisia is not a model for other Arab states, but an exception, given the general role of Islam in shaping education and social and political agendas. The book draws on interviews as well as historical analysis and personal knowledge.

Sebystyen, Amanda, Voices from the Tunisian Revolution, Red Pepper, issue May, 2011, pp. 43-43

Stepan, Alfred, Tunisia’s Transition and the Twin Tolerations, Journal of Democracy, Vol. 23, issue 2 (April), 2012, pp. 89-103

Discusses transition to democracy and possibility of demonstrating how religion, society and the state can be satisfactorily balanced.

See also:

Firoze Manji; Sokari Ekine, African Awakening: The Emerging Revolutions, (E. I.2.3. Third Wave of Protests: 2011 - 2021), pp. 42-68 for three chapters on Tunisia and also Campbell, Horace , Echoes from Tunisia and Egypt: Revolutions without self-proclaimed revolutionaries Pambazuka News, , 2011 , pp. 69-79.
Amanda Sebystyen, Tunisia: Another country, Pambazuka News, 2011, Discusses the involvement of activists in the revolution in preparations for elections.