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This week's editor

En Liang Khong

En Liang Khong is openDemocracy’s assistant editor.

Constitutional conventions: best practice

Kerkennah: on the frontline of resistance to the fossil fuel industry in Tunisia

The effects of climate change and neoliberalism converge in Kerkennah in the worst possible way – but the islands are fighting back.

Why airstrikes on ISIS in Libya could worsen the situation in Tunisia

Concerns that bombing ISIS in Libya might destabilise Tunisia were tragically confirmed last week, as ISIS militants assaulted military and security facilities in Ben Guerdane, killing more than 50 people.

Something is rotten in the state of Tunisia

Tunisia’s foreign friends would do well to remember that in 2011 there was a revolution in, not of the system. The current state of stasis is not a good omen for the future.

Tunisia’s fight against its revolutionary youth

The threat of terrorism has been exploited to justify anti-democratic laws and an escalation of arrests and detentions, apparently more focused on silencing dissent than anything else.

Economic reform: tackling the root causes of extremism in Tunisia

A combination of political consensus, religious inclusion and economic stability is vital to combat the alienation, deprivation and chaos that lead to extremism.

UGTT and the culture of dialogue in Tunisia

On the fifth anniversary of the uprising, national dialogue is what brought Tunisia to where it is today.

Tunisia: the irresistible flow

Five years ago, today, it began. The uprisings had no master narrative – they were a series of micronarratives produced by ordinary people. 

Cooperation and economic dialogue: interview with Rafik Abdessalem

An interview with the former foreign minister of Tunisia and a senior party adviser to the Ennahdha party.

Tunisian civil society – life behind the Nobel Prize

Though civil society organizations are allowed to operate, their recommendations are often sidelined to accommodate ‘security’-centric approaches to ‘counterterrorism’. 

What is Tunisia's Nobel prize rewarding?

By reassuring the political and economic elite and backing the privatisation operation led by sponsors and donors, this Nobel peace prize could well be one for ‘social peace at all costs’.

Your fatwa does not apply here

The UN Human Rights Council has appointed Karima Bennoune as Special Rapporteur in the field of Cultural Rights. Bennoune is the author of the book, Your Fatwa Does Not Apply Here: Untold Stories from the Fight Against Muslim Fundamentalism.

In defence of Tunisia’s democratic sovereignty

Tunisia's sovereignty is already at risk, and its destiny now seems to depend largely on negotiations between an international oligarchy and the national plutocracy.

'Something wicked this way comes': the Arab transitions (part 1)

An excerpt from a NOREF report on the background to the current situation in the Middle East, focusing on the aftermath of the 'Arab Spring'. Part one: North Africa, Egypt and the Gulf.

Tunisia: transitional justice in the crosshairs

A proposed 'economic reconciliation' law will provide impunity for corruption and economic crimes, threatening the transitional justice process and deflecting the message at the heart of the Tunisian revolution.

European values and the Arab world

Maged Mandour

EU politicians can promote 'European' values by stopping their support for autocratic regimes, and by starting to ask tough questions about radicalisation.


Oil and accountability in Tunisia: “Winou el pétrole?"

After elections that saw observers laud Tunisia as the Arab Spring’s solitary success story, Tunisians are demanding to know what happens to their country’s natural resources.

Should western countries support Tunisia and if so how?

The new Tunisian leaders would prefer that westerners invest in Tunisia by building factories and processing plants, creating thousands of jobs for Tunisians at home and quality goods at fair prices.

Jihadists and activists: Tunisian youth five years later

Refocusing attention on activist youth helps clarify the complexity of this historical moment we have variably called the 'Arab Spring' or 'Arab Awakening'.

Window on the Middle East - July 28, 2015

Arab Awakening's columnists offer their perspective on what is happening on the ground in the Middle East. 

Tunisia – tug of war?

Tunisia is now at a crossroads, facing the largest challenge to its democratic transition yet. How should it respond without undermining the rights and freedoms that have been so resolutely fought for?

Eradicating violent extremism from Tunisia? Dry up the sources

It will be important to empower young people, to train them to exercise critical thought, and to make them conscious of the importance of their participation in society. A call to civil society.  

Middle East mix of feudal and dictatorial systems

The political future of the region is unclear, because it depends on the evolution of different political systems. What degree of secularisation/Islamism will these societies allow?

Tunisia's entrepreneurial spirit

Tunisia's startups are not the cure-all to the country's profound economic problems, but they're a step in the right direction.

Economic reforms for Tunisia in 2015 and beyond

It is just as important for Tunisia to address economic as security threats. Three key reforms can help maintain gains and fix pressing problems.

Missing journalists: Tunisia’s Arab Spring meets Libya’s

Two radically different “Arab Springs” have collided in the ordeal of two Tunisian journalists in Libya.

Further notes on the evolution of the jihadi international movement

The Islamic State project is finding some consensus in countries where political deadlock reduces our social lives to a primordial level. Social and economic frustration stays at an all-time high level, even in a country like Tunisia.

Defending Tunisia’s constitution

Tunisia faces the challenge of responding to security threats while avoiding a return of the security state that Tunisians rose up against in 2011. It's a rocky but clearly marked path.

Corruption: the Tunisian transition's worst enemy

The key to facing the challenge of radicalisation, while maintaining and making tangible the democratic gains since the revolution, is tackling on-going corruption.

Tunisia, bridging the gulf

The terrorist attack in Tunis highlights the challenges facing Tunisia's new government and underlines the need for western support in meeting them.

Explaining the jihadi threat in Tunisia

We must say that this scenario is both similar to and different from those in other countries of the region where authoritarian regimes fell in 2011.

Tunisia's security nightmare long predates the Arab Spring

The Tunisian massacre did not come out of a clear blue sky. A dictatorship not as secular as presented and its naïve 'moderate' Islamist successor allowed Salafism to emerge.

Opposing political Islam in Tunisia: Mohamed Brahmi's widow speaks out

On the first anniversary of Mohamed Brahmi’s assassination, his widow, Mbarka Brahmi, denounces fundamentalism and terrorism in Tunisia.  This article is republished following the murderous attack on the Bardo Museum in Tunis.

Tunisia's fight against fundamentalism: an interview with Amel Grami

In conversations with Karima Bennoune, Tunisian intellectual Amel Grami shares her analysis of the political crisis in Tunisia during the rule of the Ennahda party, and the strategies needed to defeat fundamentalism.

The impact of the coalition on Ennahda and Nidaa Tounes

The multi-party government in Tunisia has shown the parties' willingness and ability to compromise, but has also revealed divisions that present both risk and opportunity.

Building consensus in post-revolutionary Tunisia

Tawafuq’ as an idea refers to decision-making not through formal processes relying on potentially divisive majorities but rather informal processes.

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