Tunisia has moved from a romantic story to a testing ground for transnational political Islam, the global strength of the market economy and the potential for progressive politics and a new way of being in our world.
understand Tunisia, one must get to grips with its labour movement. UGTT has enjoyed a continuity in
history and presence across the country which is paralleled only by the ruling
party at its height under Bourguiba and Ben Ali.
the resigning former Prime Minister and Ennahda leader, Hamadi Jebali, is
being groomed for a presidential role by his party as well as international
players, in a bid to market an “acceptable” Islamism.
Such a division over bodies stands in dialectical relationship to the division of the body politic in the country. It is a result of a polarized polity and the visible expression of it at the same time.
Responses to his death may well mark the end of the line for Islamist politics as we know it in Tunisia. It may also mark the rise of a unified opposition, which now realizes that its fight is not only, or no longer, for freedom of expression and association but an existential one, a matter of survival.
Tunisians went to the polls almost exactly
one year ago, in their first and free elections,the major outcome of the revolution. Today, Tunisia stands fragmented
politically, its economy is struggling and
its social protests remain unabated. And its first anniversary may be marked in ways that are almost as surprising as its revolution was.