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Tunisia

بعد خمس سنوات من ثورة تونس: هل تسقط الدّولة؟

[صورة للاحتجاجات الأخيرة في ولاية القصرين، منقول عن صفحة سبيطلة الولاية المسلوبة]

يستقبل التونسيون شتاءهم الخامس بعد الثورة بكثير من الشكّ في مستقبل مسارهم الديمقراطي الناشئ، واختارت الجغرافيا التي انطلقت منها شرارة 17 ديسمبر 2010 أن تحتفي بالعيد الخامس على طريقتها : في ولاية القصرين، رضا اليحياوي من مواليد 1987 يحتجّ على شطب اسمه من إحدى قوائم التوظيف في القطاع العمومي ويلقى مصرعه إثر تسلقه لعمود كهربائي. على إثر ذلك، تنتشر الاحتجاجات في جلّ مناطق البلاد. في الآن ذاته، يُحتفى بتونس نموذجا للتغيّرات العربيّة المتواصلة وعنوانُ النموذج التوافق، وبرهانُه جائزة نوبل، أمّا مضمونه فهو سرديّة سياسية تكاد تجمع عليها النّخب التونسية رغم تشرذمها: الصّبر، وما دُمنا نجحنا في تكريس تداول سلمي ديمقراطي على السلطة واجتناب الأسوأ فلا بدّ أنّ حلولاً لكلّ المشاكل ...

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Awled Amreeka?

[Screenshot from the series Awled Moufida. Image provided by author]

It is Ramadan 2015 in Tunisia, and it is a tough one. Falling in July, seemingly endless scorching days are filled with children who long for something—anything—to do, and parents with no energy to entertain them. The saving grace is that space of time after iftar followed by the Ramadan soap opera of your choice and before sleeping. The children in Kabaria are taken to the montazah, or playground, to run and play while parents chat happily with overstuffed stomachs. As children play, a young boy who has drawn “tribal” style tattoos all over his arms runs by. His father mumbles grumpily about a new series called Awled Moufida. Awled Moufida is the newest series of Sami ...

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The Impeccable Narrative Around Tunisian Workers' Syndicate

[Image of the headquarters of the UGTT in Tunis, Tunisia. Image by Democracy International/Flickr]

[The below piece was written before the current wave of protests in Kasserine in the marginalized southern region of Tunisia. The protests, which soon expanded to the whole country, started after a young unemployed man climbed an electric power tower and was electrocuted. He was protesting in front of the local governorate after his name was removed from a list of possible jobs in the public administration. Five years after the ousting of Ben Ali, unemployment rates had risen especially in the South. In order to stop the protests, the Tunisian government announced a new employment scheme which is supposed to create 5000 new jobs. This piece is based on several interviews ...

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Call for Papers: Graduate Student Conference on Social and Political Change in MENA (April 8, New York)

Call for Papers Avenues of Social and Political Change:  Five Years of Contention in the Middle East and North Africa  April 8, 2016 The Graduate Center, City University of New York 365 Fifth Avenue, New York City Abstract Submission Deadline: February 5, 2016 Five years after the eruption of mass protests across North Africa and the Middle East, citizens of these countries now live under contrasting conditions. While some countries, such as Tunisia, have made headway on the road to freedom and social justice, others are embroiled in civil strife, like Syria, or are being crushed by the return of authoritarianism, like Egypt. Yet, despite the zigzagging ...

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'All in World Bank': Manipulation in the Name of Deregulation

In November 2015, the Tunisian Observatory of Economic (TOE) published a critical analysis of a recent World Bank report, the latter of which is entitled "All in the Family: State Capture in Tunisia." What follows is a summarized version of the TOE's critical analysis I - General Frame 1.1. On the 27 March 2014, World Bank researchers published the study "All in the Family: State Capture in Tunisia." The conclusions of this study demonstrated how Ben Ali used the Investment Incentives Code for his own profit and to promote his clan's interests. According to the study, the state's interventions, through a protectionist regulatory framework, permitted ...

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Tunisia: The Counter Demographic Transition

[Screenshot from video footage of the interview below, with Youssef Courbage]

[The following is an interview conducted with Youssef Courbage. This video (in French) is published in cooperation with OrientXXI] Youssef Courbage is research director at the National Institute of Demographic Studies (INED). For many years, he aimed to analyze the evolution of Arab and Muslim societies through demographic variables. In this interview, he explains that after the Arab uprisings, the countries in the Middle East and North African region have experienced a marked increase in the birth rate, including in Tunisia, a country that had been praised for its demographic transition. Indeed, until the mid-2000s, demographers considered Tunisia s a model for ...

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New Texts Out Now: Raymond Hinnebusch, From Arab Spring to Arab Winter: Explaining the Limits of Post-Uprising Democratization

[Cover of

Raymond Hinnebusch, editor, From Arab Spring to Arab Winter: Explaining the Limits of Post-Uprising Democratization, special issue of Democratization 22.2 (2015). Jadaliyya (J): What made you put this special issue together? Raymond Hinnebusch (RH): We felt that the debate over who had been vindicated by the uprising between democratization theorists and post-democratization/authoritarian resilience advocates had been exhausted. The main initial problematic of the Arab Uprising was how to translate mass protest into democratization and ultimately democratic consolidation; yet, despite the fact that democracy was the main shared demand of the protestors who spearheaded ...

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New Texts Out Now: Marc Morjé Howard and Meir R. Walters, “Mass Mobilization and the Democracy Bias”

[Cover of

Marc Morjé Howard and Meir R. Walters, “Mass Mobilization and the Democracy Bias,” Middle East Policy 22.2 (2015): 145-155. Jadaliyya (J): What made you write this article?           Marc Morjé Howard and Meir R. Walters (MMH & MRW): We wrote this article in response to problematic-seeming reactions to recent uprisings in places such as the Arab world and Ukraine. We saw journalists, policy commentators, and some academics echoing popular narratives that use clichés to talk about uprisings. For example, clichés about seasons (spring, winter) or colors (orange, green, rose) turn complex events into marketable ...

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الثورة القادمة إلى شمال أفريقيا: الكفاح من أجل العدالة المناخية

الثورة القادمة إلى شمال أفريقيا: الكفاح من أجل العدالة المناخية حمزة حموشان وميكا مينيو-بالويللو بلاتفورم لندن، مؤسّسة روزا لوكسمبورغ وعدالة بيئيّة شمال أفريقيا. مارس 2015 يمكنكم قراءة الكتاب وتحميله هنا.   1- ماهو غرضكم من تأليف هذا الكتاب؟ هدفنا هو إلقاء الضّوء على عنف تغيّر المناخ في شمال أفريقيا والتّأكيد على الحاجة إلى استجابة محليّة. أردنا الإشارة إلى أنّ بقاء الإنسانيّة على قيد الحياة مرهون بالتغيير الهيكلي وعلى مواجهة تحدّي الحديث عن العدالة المناخيّة بالّلغة العربيّة. تغيّر المناخ هو حقيقة موثقة في شمال أفريقيا. عدة أشخاص يلاقون حتفهم والكثيرون يجدون أنفسهم مجبرين على ترك أراضيهم بسبب موجات الجفاف والعواصف الّتي أصبحت أكثر حدة ومتكرّرة ...

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Nidaa Tounès et Ennahda, l’alliance entre « deux forces d’ancien régime » en Tunisie. Retour sur l'histoire de la révolution avec Aziz Krichen

[Rached Ghannoushi et Beji Kaid Essebsi. Image de espacemanager.com]

Aziz Krichen est une figure historique de la gauche tunisienne. Son opposition frontale aux régimes de Habib Bourguiba et de Zine El-Abidine Ben Ali le conduit en prison puis à l’exil. Ministre conseiller du président Moncef Marzouki depuis janvier 2012, il a démissionné de ses fonctions en mai 2014 pour ne pas avoir à cautionner une stratégie consistant à attiser les clivages identitaires du pays pour mobiliser l’électorat islamiste en prévision de l’élection présidentielle. Il répond ici à Khadija Mohsen-Finan qui l’interroge sur l’état actuel et le devenir de la classe politique tunisienne. Khadija Mohsen-Finan. — Selon vos propos, après 2011, la ...

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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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البنك الدولي، تلاعب و تزوير من أجل تحرير الاستثمار

1.الإطار العام 1.1. قام فريق بحث من البنك الدولي بنشر دراسة تحت عنوان "الكلّ داخل العائلة: الدولة الرهينة في تونس" بتاريخ 27 مارس 2014 أشارت استنتاجاتها إلى كيفية تلاعب الرئيس السابق زين العابدين بن علي بمجلة التشجيع على الاستثمار من أجل خدمة مصالحه الشخصية ومصالح عائلته. حسب هذه الدراسة، أفضت تدخلات الدولة عند فرض إطار قانوني حمائي يعتمد على التراخيص، إلى سيطرة العائلة الحاكمة على بعض القطاعات الاقتصادية وحمت شركاتها من التنافس. 2.1. وتتأتّى الدراسة المذكورة في إطار إصلاح مجلة التشجيع ...

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Protests in Tunisia: An Interview with Nadia Marzouki

Five years after the inspirational uprising in Tunisia that toppled the long dictatorship of Ben Ali, people are back on the streets demanding the fulfilment of the 2011 revolutionary slogan “ jobs, freedom, and national dignity." Last week, at the onset of the 2011 mass uprising, people took to the streets in cities and towns across the country. One protester captured his fellow Tunisians' predicament succinctly: “We have the freedom, but you cannot eat freedom.” There is deja vu between 2011 ...

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« All in World Bank » - Manipulations au nom de la dérégulation

1.     Contexte  1.1. Le 27 Mars 2014, les chercheurs de la Banque Mondiale ont publié une étude « All in the Family : State Capture in Tunisia » dont les résultats ont montré que Ben Ali a abusé de la législation du code d’incitations aux investissements pour promouvoir les intérêts de son clan. Selon l’étude, c’est l’interventionnisme de l’Etat, à travers l’octroi d’autorisations, qui a permis au clan de s’accaparer des secteurs en se protégeant de la ...

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لا يزالون آملين بالديمقراطية

برزت الديمقراطية أثناء ربيع العرب كطوق نجاة، بمقدوره أن ينتشلهم من مستنقع الفساد والاستبداد، الذي انحدرت إليه دولة ما بعد الاستعمار. ودبت الجماهير بأقدامها الميادين، وهي تصدع بالعيش والحرية والكرامة، منبهة العالم لموجة تبشر بالديمقراطية، بعد صمت طويل، استغرق قرنين كاملين، ظلت فيه هذه الجموع ترنو لموجات الديمقراطية الكبرى، تضرب شطآن غيرهم دون أن ينالهم منها شيء. قبل أربعة عقود، غالبتهم الحسرة على حالهم المقموعة، فيما يستبشر العالم بتجاوز عدد الديمقراطيات، لأول مرة في تاريخه، عدد النظم التي لم تعرف ...

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Social Dialogue Under The Gun in Tunisia

Tunisia’s democratic transition has been idealized as the bright light of the Arab Uprisings. In addition to avoiding the bloody crackdowns of Egypt, Libya, and Syria, the country held the promise of making real gains on the issues of social justice—low wages, unequal development, and crony neoliberal capitalism—that triggered the uprising. Led in part by the country’s powerful trade union, the democratic transition was supposed to provide a re-energized economy, tripartite negotiation on wages and work ...

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New Texts Out Now: Maha El Said, Lena Meari, and Nicola Pratt, Rethinking Gender in Revolutions and Resistance

Maha El Said, Lena Meari, and Nicola Pratt, editors, Rethinking Gender in Revolutions and Resistance: Lessons from the Arab World. London: Zed Books, 2015. Jadaliyya (J): What made you put together this book? Maha El Said, Lena Meari, and Nicola Pratt (MES/LM/NP): The book emerged initially out of a three-year project between the University of Warwick Centre for the Study of Women and Gender and Birzeit University Institute of Women’s Studies, funded by the British Academy, and entitled ...

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The Rise and Fall of Abu ‘Iyadh: Reported Death Leaves Questions Unanswered

On 2 July 2015, Mosaïque FM, the largest radio station in Tunisia, reported that Sayfallah ‘Omer bin Hussayn al-Tunisi (al-Tunisi), also known as Abu ‘Iyadh, had been killed in a US led airstrike targeting former Al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM) commander Mokhtar al-Mokhtar. No sources were attributed to this announcement. But two days later, the New York Times confirmed the information, this time with unnamed sources. Mosaïque FM promptly published the news that the New York Times had confirmed ...

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Tunisia: Democratic Miracle or Mirage?

Since December 2014, Western officials and analysts have very actively, almost aggressively, celebrated the Tunisian “success,” which is alternatively defined as an “exception” or a “model” in a chaotic Arab world. Following the Tunisian president’s official visit to France in April 2015, Beji Caid Essebi’s visit to the United States on 20-21 May 2015, completed the Western consecration of Tunisia’s induction into the “club of democracies.” The current fascination with Tunisia’s democratic achievement, ...

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New Texts Out Now: Hamza Hamouchene and Mika Minio-Paluello, The Coming Revolution in North Africa: The Struggle for Climate Justice

Hamza Hamouchene and Mika Minio-Paluello, editors, The Coming Revolution in North Africa: The Struggle for Climate Justice. Platform (London), Rosa Luxemburg Foundation (North Africa), and Environmental Justice North Africa (EJNA), 2015. Jadaliyya (J): What made you put together this book? Hamza Hamouchene and Mika Minio-Paluello (HH & MM-P): The idea was both to highlight the violence of climate change in North Africa, and the need for an indigenous response. We wanted to point out that survival ...

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Visual Culture in an Age of Global Conflict (National Museum of Bardo, Tunis, 28-29 March 2015)

Visual Culture in an Age of Global Conflict The Kamel Lazaar Foundation is pleased to announce that it will stage a two-day conference at the National Museum of Bardo from 28–29 May, 2015. This will be the third iteration of the JAOU initiative to be held there and the first international conference at the Museum since the terrorist attacks on Wednesday, 18 March 2015. Organized in advance of those attacks, the conference has since taken on an additional pertinence in relation to any investigation into ...

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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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