Tunisia’s fragile transition

Results of the Arab Spring uprisings across the Middle East
Tunisia is one of the only countries where an Arab Spring protest led to the successful implementation of a democratic system (source: macpixxel for GIS)
  • Tunisia’s transition from dictatorship to democracy is on track
  • However, the process remains vulnerable to social and economic shocks
  • The right reforms could help oil and gas investment provide jobs and income

Tunisia will always be remembered as the country that started the Arab Spring. The wave of protests that began there toppled several dictators, from its own President Zine El Abidine Ben Ali, to Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak and Libyan strongman Muammar Qaddafi. It also contributed to the start of the civil war in Syria. In most of the countries that saw Arab Spring uprisings, the struggle for democracy has suffered serious setbacks. In contrast, the transition in Tunisia from 23 years of dictatorship to a fully-fledged working secular democracy seems to be heading in the right direction. Yet, the transition remains fragile.

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