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“Julian

Julian Richards is openDemocracy’s managing editor.

Constitutional conventions: best practice

Splintering Tunis

Three years after the revolution, Tunisia is searching for a new urban identity.

An uncertain future for Tunis

Two years after the revolution, Tunisians have reclaimed public spaces in the city. But failing municipalities, a lack of law enforcement, and scant engagement with urban planners are a cause for concern.

Final draft of Tunisia’s new constitution released

After long heated debates, a final draft of Tunisia’s new constitution was released last week by the National Constituent Assembly.


Young Tunisian cigarette vendor dies of self-immolation

Hundreds joined the young man’s funeral procession in Jendouba and protested against the region’s poverty and economic marginalization.

Tunisia: the backlash in women‘s rights amid the rocky political transition

The announcement of the long awaited new government in Tunisia coincided with International Women‘s Day. Ironically, only 3 women were appointed in the new cabinet. The exclusion of women from key posts in the government is not a new phenomenon in the history of modern Tunisia.

Harlem Shake Tunisia-style

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.

The Harlem Shake controversy in Tunisia

The ministry's website was also temporarily hacked and a call went out on social media for the staging of a "mega Harlem Shake" in front of the ministry on Friday.

What’s next for Tunisia? Can democracy be saved?

Following the assassination, Prime Minister Hamadi Jebali announced that Tunisia is to form a non-partisan government of technocrats to run the country until elections can be held.

Denial runs through Tunisia: you say we absorbed the shock?

Today, the one thing that devastated me the most is how quickly the president who is supposed to be a human rights defender, not just any president, stepped in to persuade us to get used to the spilling of blood.

The visit of a controversial Muslim to Tunisia sparks debate

Tunisia is well known for its moderate interpretation of Islam. However during the last couple of years, a more conservative interpretation of Islam, or Salafism, has spread widely throughout Tunisian society.

Tunisia’s political dysfunction rests on a fierce power struggle

The political players (the ones in government and the opposition) should accelerate their efforts today towards reaching consensus and putting Tunisia above everything else.

Don't hate the revolution, hate the power-play

Weariness with unfulfilled promises, deteriorating economic conditions and the rising threat of violence was rather visible on the day celebrating the second anniversary of the Tunisian revolution.

In Tunisia, another Sufi shrine is vandalized

For many opposition parties the government is not doing enough to protect the country from extremism.

Tunisian constitutionalism and the draft constitution of December 2012

One may indeed speak of an orderly, leaderless transfer of power in January 2011 specifically because constitutionalism was strong and alive.

Tunisian graffiti artists targeted by law

Berriche and Bouagila were arrested November 3 for writing on the wall of a university: “the people want rights for the poor” and “the poor are the living-dead in Tunisia.”

The upcoming general strike in Tunisia: a historical perspective

The first general strike in Tunisia since 1978 takes place in a much-changed country and against old friends but for rather similar reasons.

Tunisia: economic pressures threaten the regime‘s survival

A general strike will take place on Thursday, December 13, across Tunisia, a rare call, actually the third to be made by the powerful UGTT since its foundation in 1946.

Tunisians caught between the crowd and the political scene

At the end of the day, most of the political sphere disagreements are not of any importance to the ordinary Tunisian and they ought to be resolved away from the public sphere.

Security situation in Tunisia remains a major issue

For the fourth day in a row, thousands of people are still protesting in Siliana demanding that the local governor quits.

Innocent till proven guilty in Tunisia

It is reported that in Tunisia under Ben Ali, no prisoner died on hunger strike – some prisoners died under torture. This is a first.

Two Tunisian detainees die after hunger strike

Bouazizi’s desperate act of self-immolation in response to his humiliation seems to be replicated once again under the rule of a legitimate government that came to power through the ballot box.

The Tunisian people come second!

‘We are the walking-dead, we live in a vacuum, we have nothing. We have nothing. All it (the Government) can do for us is put us in jail,’ shouted a protester during a recent protest action.

The Tunisian government, grandfather of the salafis?

They are unwilling to go back to detaining and torturing “the Salafis” to win the satisfaction of the western hemisphere, but on the other hand, Tunisians are refusing to be returned to the middle ages.

No reason to celebrate in Tunisia

23rd October marked the first anniversary of free and democratic elections in Tunisia. However, dissatisfaction over the slow pace of reform and the crackdown on human rights soured plans to celebrate.

Human rights in Tunisia: between stagnation and regression

Amnesty International’s report titled ‘One step forward, two steps back’ raises questions about whether Tunisia is stagnating or regressing regarding the situation of human rights.

Political violence in Tunisia takes the country backward?

The coalition government has shown little interest in engaging in an authentic reconciliation between Tunisians with different political allegiances.

The first anniversary of democracy in Tunisia is a few days away: is there anything to celebrate?

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.

The religious smokescreen

The double-faced discourse employed by Ennahda is making it harder to have confidence in their statements.

Rough times in Tunisia: weak leaders vs. empowered fundamentalists

Tunisian leaders must quickly and boldly address the problem of fundamentalism through building more robust democratic institutions, debate forums and a national dialogue.

Tunisian Constitutional Assembly violates its own transparency

The activists’ decision to take legal action against the Assembly came after months of concentrated efforts to push them to be more open in their proceedings.

Another ugly movie shot in ‘moderate’ Tunisia

In Tunisia, the violent protest that took place after the Friday prayer near the US embassy resulted in four deaths with several seriously injured.

Looking for dignity elsewhere: Tunisian youth fleeing the birthplace of the Arab spring

Frustration in Tunisia is growing especially among the youth who remain marginalized even though they were the ones who ignited change.

The power of a blank page

There is a palpable dissatisfaction towards both the Tunisian Government and the National Constitutional Assembly: protests, marches, sit-ins, campaigns etc.

Crackdown on free media in Tunisia

Stifling the media can lead to the emergence of robust new media, like those that accelerated the end of some of the most autocratic Arab dictators.

In the Tunisian elite we don’t trust

Offended by the people‘s choice in the recent elections, Tunisia’s elite have now declared war on the people and their political rivals.

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