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Fabio Merone and Francesco Cavatorta


Ennahda: A Party in Transition

[Members of Ennahda hold a press conference in Tunisia, with their leader, Rachid Ghannouchi, in the center. Image by Monia Ghanmi/Magharebia.]

Since the assassination of Chokri Belaid, Tunisia is living the most difficult stage of its revolutionary transition. Even before the murder of Belaid, a long institutional crisis had kept the country in limbo with the prolonged absence of a constitution. Belaid’s death pushed it on the edge of chaos. Much has been written about the context within which the assassination took place, with the secular-leftist camp openly accusing the Islamist party, Ennahda, of having provided ...

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The Emergence of Salafism in Tunisia

[Tunisians walk past election posters in Tunis, Oct. 19, 2011 ahead of the landmark Oct. 23 election for a constitutional body. Image by Francois Mori/AP Photo.]

Political Islam did not really play a prominent role in the success of the Tunisian revolution. Islamists were notably absent from the protests and the revolutionary slogans were about freedom, dignity, and jobs rather than Sharia law or the creation of an Islamic state. This made it reasonably easy for Europeans and Americans to support the Tunisian uprising, as it looked surprisingly non-threatening to the West. In fact, the Tunisian protesters seemed to have much in ...

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Fabio Merone and Francesco Cavatorta


Fabio Merone is an independent researcher and correspondent for NenaNews based in Tunisia where he has lived for the past ten years. He is working on a manuscript (in Italian) on the Tunisian transition and he is currently a research associate on a project on Islamism in the Middle East and North Africa funded by the Gerda Henkel Foundation.  

Francesco Cavatorta is Senior Lecturer in International Relations and Middle East Politics at the School of Law and Government at Dublin City University, Ireland. His research focuses on processes of political change in the Arab world and on the role of Islamist parties and movements. He has published his work in a number of journals including Democratization, British Journal of Middle Eastern StudiesJournal of Modern African Studies,Government and OppositionMediterranean Politicsand Journal of North African Studies. He is also the author of four books, including Civil Society and Democratisation in the Arab World: the Dynamics of Activism, co-authored with Vincent Durac and  published by Routledge in 2010. Click here to visit his website.