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Tunisia

New Texts Out Now: Olfa Lamloum and Mohamed Ben Zina, Jeunes de Douar Hicher et d’Ettadhamen. Une enquête sociologique

[Cover of Olfa Lamloum and Mohamed Ben Zina,

Olfa Lamloum and Mohamed Ben Zina, dir., Jeunes de Douar Hicher et d’Ettadhamen. Une enquête sociologique. Tunis: Arabesques / International Alert, 2015. Jadaliyya (J): Qu’est-ce qui vous a fait éditer ce livre? Olfa Lamloum (OL) : Le projet de ce livre collectif a été conçu et soutenu dans les différentes phases de sa réalisation par International Alert (IA), une ONG internationale présente dans plus de 25 pays, qui œuvre en faveur de la consolidation de la paix et du soutien aux transitions démocratiques, en produisant des expertises sur les conflits et en appuyant les revendications des sociétés civiles locales.  Présente en Tunisie dès 2012 ...

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Those Who Want To Build, Those Who Want To Fight: The World Social Forum with a North African Twist

[Logo of the 2015 World Social Forum. Image via Wikimedia Commons.]

Holding the World Social Forum (WSF) in Tunisia, for the second time, is doubly significant. It is right on target, since Tunisians have toppled a neoliberal dictator. It is also a painful reminder of capitalism’s power, as Tunisian neoliberalism (along with the dictator’s entourage) is still intact. Not only are the main contours of Ben Ali’s policies still in place, his top bureaucrats are in command. Moreover, they have come back through elections. Voters replaced them for a secular liberal-Islamic coalition, partially due to worries regarding increasing conservatism and a deteriorating security situation. That coalition was also deeply neoliberal. In short, Tunisians ...

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New Texts Out Now: David McDonald, Rethinking Corporatization and Public Services in the Global South

[Cover of

David McDonald, editor, Rethinking Corporatization and Public Services in the Global South. London: Zed Books, 2014. Jadaliyya (J): What made you write this book? David McDonald (DMD): After three decades of privatization, we observe a growing worldwide trend of governments taking back control of services, or creating new forms of public services, with the overall number of public enterprises globally on the increase. Corporatization is one of the most popular forms of this renewed interest in government ownership, but it raises some tricky questions about the nature of what it means to be “public.” Technically, corporatized agencies are fully owned and ...

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Who Are the People? A Conversation on the Assemblages and the Archives of the People

[Photo by Virginie Nguyen courtesy of Mada Masr]

Scholars of the Middle East have grappled for several decades with what seemed to be the death of “formal” or “official” politics in their attempt to explain the seemingly impenetrable force of authoritarianism and the pacification of Arab politics. Some work reified older understandings of the idea of agency and the centrality of state institutions. Others broke new ground on the idea of the individual, critically deconstructing the seemingly self-evident meaning and universal values of “freedom” and “agency.” In some ways, both conventional and cutting edge approaches worked to obscure the possibility of politics that could effectively challenge authoritarian ...

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دور المجتمع المدني في الثورة التونسية. محادثة لـ"الوضع" بين فاتح عزام وعبد الباسط بن حسن

عبد الباسط بن حسن هو رئيس المعهد العربي لحقوق الإنسان. يعمل المعهد على تعزيز تعليم حقوق الإنسان في المنطقة العربية من خلال بناء المقدرات وبرامج التدريب. و هو أيضا رئيس اللجنة الوطنية التونسية لدعم اللاجئين. شغل منصب عضو في اللجنة العليا لتحقيق أهداف الثورة والإصلاح السياسي والانتقال الديمقراطي. في هذه اللجنة، شارك بن حسن في صياغة تشريعات ما بعد الثورة حول حرية تكوين الجمعيات و حرية التعبير والتجمع والانتخابات. انتخب رئيسا للمعهد العربي لحقوق الإنسان في مارس 2011.  مع خبرة عقدين من الزمن في مجال حقوق الإنسان في المنطقة العربية، شغل بن حسن منصب مدير برنامج حقوق الإنسان في مؤسسة فورد (2005-2011). درّس بن حسن حقوق الإنسان في كلية ...

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‘I Can’t Breathe’: Are You Aware of the Uprising?

[Protesters in New York City, 7 December 2014. Image by a katz / Shutterstock.com]

It is official. The world system is in deep crisis. Corruption really does start at the top. The United States, the leader of this system, first wavered in 2011. Yet another wave of protests shook the US from July to December 2014. At the “Occupy” protests three years ago, the system’s inequitable economic dimensions came to the fore. At the end of last year, its political-racial dimensions drew attention. Almost simultaneously, Europe witnessed the rise of anti-Muslim mass sentiment. Right-wing street demonstrations and mosque burnings have recently spread throughout the continent. Such actions are bound to garner more sympathy after the Charlie Hebdo attack. This event ...

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Maghreb Media Roundup (December 21)

[Image of a home in Choum, Mauritania. Image by Ammar Hassan/Flickr]

[This is a roundup of news articles and other materials circulating on the Maghreb and reflects a wide variety of opinions. It does not reflect the views of the Maghreb Page Editors or of Jadaliyya. You may send your own recommendations for inclusion in each week's roundup to maghreb@jadaliyya.com by Thursday night of every week] Algeria   Appel au meurtre contre Kamel Daoud A Salafi imam called for the assassination of Kamel Daoud, an award winning journalist and novelist from Oran, after an appearance on the French channel France 2. Bouteflika continue son tour d’Europe des hopitaux The medical plane for Algeria’s president ...

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'Nefes alamiyorum': Baskaldirinin farkinda misiniz?

[Protest in New York City, 4 December 2014. Image by The All-Nite Images, via Flickr.]

'Nefes alamıyorum': Başkaldırının farkında mısınız? Artık tescillendi. Dünya sistemi derin bir krizde. Balık baştan kokarmış. Sistemin önderi Amerika Birleşik Devletleri ilk olarak 2011’de sallanmıştı. Şimdi ayaklanmalar yine hayatı kilitlemeye doğru gidiyor. Temmuz’dan Aralık’a radikal sokak eylemleri durulmadı. Üç yıl önceki “İşgal Et” eylemlerinde sistemin ekonomik, eşitsizlikçi boyutu ön plana çıkmıştı. Bugün siyasi boyutu dikkat çekiyor. Neresinden tutsanız, devam ettirilemeyecek bir neoliberal hegemonya yani. Ağustos’ta Ferguson, Temmuz’da ise New York cinayetlerinde “yeni” olan polisin siyahlara muamelesi değil, bunun yarattığı toplumsal tepki. 1960’larda ...

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The Quest for a Way Out of Tunisia’s Constitutional Quagmire

[Image of candidate posters on a wall in Tunisia. Image by Malek Khadraoui for Heinrich-Böll-Stiftung/Flickr]

Successfully passing the tests of democracy while the whole region seems to be doomed to a chronic state of turmoil, Tunisia is considered to have set a good example for the “Arab Spring” countries and is expected to prove that a happy ending is actually possible. In fact, Tunisia has come a long way from the shadows of the police state to the perspective of a sustainable democracy. And it is Tunisian political life that has witnessed the biggest shift from a vegetative state to an interesting and complicated case study. From one crisis to another, the Tunisian political landscape evolved into the site of recent elections, which resulted in redistributing the cards ...

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Beyond Uncritical Optimism: The Challenges for Transitional Tunisia

[Campaign posters on display in Tunis during the 2011 elections. Image by Tarek/Flickr]

Tunisia will go to the polls on 26 October in order to decide the composition of the new parliament and the new political balance that will determine the next phases of political transition. Since the uprising, there have been many and important steps toward real political and institutional change. Indeed, Tunisia has undergone a process of policy change involving the liberalization of political landscape, the subsequent participation of new political forces in the electoral process, the marginalization of the radical fringes, a dramatic rise in the levels of civil and political rights, and the adoption of a new constitution. Moreover, this process has taken place ...

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New Texts Out Now: Andrea Khalil, Crowds and Politics in North Africa: Tunisia, Algeria, and Libya

[Cover of Andrea Khalil,

Andrea Khalil, Crowds and Politics in North Africa: Tunisia, Algeria, and Libya. London: Routledge, 2014. Jadaliyya (J): What made you write this book?             Andrea Khalil (AK): In the fall of 2010, I was researching a book on the 5 October 1988 riots in Algeria. I was in France and Algeria from July-December 2010 looking for documents, archives, photos, testimonies, and literature about the riots. The events in Tunisia in the middle of December 2010 made it clear that there would be a contemporary context in which to study riots, and in Tunisia in particular. I then changed the topic and became focused ...

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Djerba, Tunisia: Garbage Disposal, the Environmental Crisis, and the Awakening of Ecoconsciousness

[An Italian restaurant-owner chains herself to a traffic sign to protest the burning of trash in front of her property in Djerba. Image via mosaiquefm.]

Djerba is an island in the south of Tunisia, often referred to as “the island of dreams.” In Homer’s Odyssey, Djerba is the enchanting land of the lotus-eaters; the land whose flowers charmed the companions of Odysseus and made them forget all thoughts of return. Today Djerba is one of Tunisia’s top tourist destinations. Home to al-Ghriba, Africa’s oldest synagogue, the island annually attracts hundreds of Jewish pilgrims from all over the world. Djerba also boasts fifteen centers of thalassotherapy and is branding itself more and more as a bio-friendly destination. For the past few weeks, however, tension has been mounting in the island over what seems to be the worst ...

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World Social Forum: Where is the Struggle against Capitalism?

The 2015 World Social Forum (WSF) opened its doors for the second consecutive year in Tunisia. Since 2001, this open space represents an alternative to the World Economic Forum at Davos and declares its anti-globalization approach in the fight against capitalism and neoliberalism. At each session, participants and visitors express ideas and personal experiences to make their voices heard and learn how to improve their capacity for self-governance. This year, participants were quick to ...

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O.I.L. Media Roundup (28 March)

[This is a roundup of news articles and other materials circulating on Occupation, Intervention and Law and reflects a wide variety of opinions. It does not reflect the views of the O.I.L. Page Editors or of Jadaliyya. You may send your own recommendations for inclusion in each biweekly roundup to OIL@jadaliyya.com by Monday night of every other week.] Palestine-Israel Short Doc Looks for the Palestinians in Israeli Elections, +972 +972  features a documentary from filmmakers Tamar ...

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New Texts Out Now: Andrea Khalil, Gender, Women, and the Arab Spring

Andrea Khalil, editor, Gender, Women, and the Arab Spring. London and New York: Routledge, 2015. [Editors’ Note: This book was originally published as a special issue of The Journal of North African Studies 19.2 (2014). To mark the publication of this special issue as a book, we are reprinting a NEWTON piece written by the editor, Andrea Khalil, in May 2014.] Jadaliyya (J): What made you put together this special issue?  Andrea Khalil (AK): During my fieldwork in Tunisia (2011-13) working on a ...

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Corporatization: Are Public Services still Public?

Public water and electricity are back in vogue. Yet, many state-owned utilities are now undergoing “corporatization,” i.e. they have legal autonomy and manage their own finances. Is this a positive development in the struggle for equitable public services or a slippery slope toward privatization? Sometimes driven by neoliberal agendas, there are examples of corporatization that could herald a brighter future for equity-oriented public services. The Municipal Services Project, both a scholarly and ...

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Stanford Event: Joel Beinin on Workers and Revolutions in Egypt and Tunisia (21 January 2015)

CDDRL’s Program on Arab Reform and Democracy (ARD), in partnership with the Arab Studies Institute (ASI), presents: Workers and Revolutions in Egypt and Tunisia Featuring: Joel Beinin Donald J. McLachlan Professor of History Stanford University Date and Time: Wednesday, January 21 12PM-1:30PM *Lunch will be served* Location: Goldman Conference Room (4th floor East Wing) Encina Hall Stanford University Abstract Arab workers participated prominently in the popular uprisings ...

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Requiem for Tunisia’s Revolution?

The Arab uprisings seemed to herald a fatal rupture in orientalist narratives, challenging as they did essentialized renderings of the region as one mired by "authoritarian resilience" and failures to democratize. However, four years after the uprisings, familiar forms of reductionist analysis about the regions persist, albeit more subtly. The latest readings of the Tunisian experience have not shied away from condescending tropes regarding the success of its stable, liberal transition as ...

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New Texts Out Now: Isabelle Werenfels, Beyond Authoritarian Upgrading: The Re-Emergence of Sufi Orders in Maghrebi Politics

Isabelle Werenfels, "Beyond Authoritarian Upgrading: The Re-Emergence of Sufi Orders in Maghrebi Politics." The Journal of North African Studies 19.3 (2014). Jadaliyya (J): What made you write this article? Isabelle Werenfels (IW): It is a mélange of reasons. First and foremost, I was struck by how little research has been done by political scientists on the contemporary relationship between Sufi orders, the state, and politics in Algeria and Tunisia. Even in Morocco, this relationship has ...

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Maghreb Media Roundup (December 4)

[This is a roundup of news articles and other materials circulating on the Maghreb and reflects a wide variety of opinions. It does not reflect the views of the Maghreb Page Editors or of Jadaliyya. You may send your own recommendations for inclusion in each week's roundup to maghreb@jadaliyya.com by Thursday night of every week] Algeria Are There Lessons to be Learnt From Algeria’s Past? Dalia Ghanem-Yazbeck examines similarities and differences between Algeria’s struggle with the Armed ...

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Tunisia: The Victory of Secularism over Islamism?

To the layman’s eye, the recent results of Tunisia’s legislative elections read like the triumph of progressive secularism over backward Islamism. Champions of modernization and secularization theory, in Arab and Western media alike, have hailed the victory of Nidaa Tounes  (the Call of Tunisia), a conservative patchwork movement composed of ancien régime figures, technocrats, and leftists, united under the vague banners of Bourguibism and anti-Islamism. The Islamist movement of Ennahda, the ...

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Maghreb Media Roundup (October 23)

[This is a roundup of news articles and other materials circulating on the Maghreb and reflects a wide variety of opinions. It does not reflect the views of the Maghreb Page Editors or of Jadaliyya. You may send your own recommendations for inclusion in each week's roundup to maghreb@jadaliyya.com by Thursday night of every week]  Algeria En Algérie, le régime est à bout de souffle Algerian police protested in front of the Presidential Palace for twenty-four hours last week calling ...

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New Texts Out Now: Linda Herrera, Revolution in the Age of Social Media: The Egyptian Popular Insurrection and the Internet

Linda Herrera, Revolution in the Age of Social Media: The Egyptian Popular Insurrection and the Internet. London and New York: Verso, 2014. Jadaliyya (J): What made you write this book? Linda Herrera (LH): In the months prior to the Arab uprisings, I had been conducing research on Egypt’s “wired generation”—their social media habits, ways of doing politics, and networks. When it became known that Egypt’s popular mobilization on 25 January 2011 was launched from a Facebook page, I literally found myself ...

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Maghreb Media Roundup (July 26)

[This is a roundup of news articles and other materials circulating on the Maghreb and reflects a wide variety of opinions. It does not reflect the views of the Maghreb Page Editors or of Jadaliyya. You may send your own recommendations for inclusion in each week's roundup to maghreb@jadaliyya.com by Thursday night of every week.]  Algeria Algeria Plane Crash Site Found in Mali With No Survivors After an extensive search effort, the crash site of Air Algerie Flight 5017, which ...

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