Democracy 68

Tunisia’s dilemma: Leadership or democracy?

It’s complicated but, obviously, the last 11 years of Tunisian history have shown that we cannot have both leadership and democracy. Indeed, Tunisia’s own version of the so-called Arab spring has been mired in muddy uncertainties. The stark degradation of social values and unprecedented illiteracy rates can only be matched by the widespread corruption which rests upon successive government failures amplified by incompetence, and sustained by complacency and ignorance.

The Tunisian people continue their quest in the search of their new model

It’s funny enough that post-2011 Tunisia was dubbed “democracy startup”. Well, why not apply a benchmarked and proven model if the playbook was matured by other players? Because the Tunisian people, consciously or unconsciously, are exploring a new path, and searching for a new model. And that’s what startups are about. In my view the Tunisian people are a rare kind of country-preneurs. But where are they heading to? Let’s look back at the roadmap, to try to understand where its trajectory may lead.

Essays on uprising: the game is not over

With a distinctively global, historical view of revolutionary and democratic processes, two recent collections of essays by Sada-Carnegie and POMEPS indicate that it is yet early to draw conclusions about the successes and failures of Arab uprisings. For Tunisia, these reflections are particularly resonant as the country’s leadership decides the constituents of a new “unity government” proposed by President Essebsi in June.

“Economic Freedom” …and Tunisia’s Nouveaux Poor

From a socio-political perspective, an index that measures “economic freedom” is at first glance misleading. Certainly a significant factor in the discrepancy between The Heritage Foundation’s perspective on poverty and prosperity and the economic, social, and political realities that ordinary citizens face are contrasting interpretations and applications of the word “freedom.” Ironically, many Tunisians who experience what they perceive to be a lack of economic freedom recognize institutions that embrace free-market ideals as culpable for or complicit in economic insecurity.

Three reasons why Tunisian democracy can succeed

Now, three years after the uprising, Tunisian democracy is showing first signs of maturity, openness and equality, which can be observed in multiple elements on the political spectrum: coalition government (progressive and secular, despite having Islamist nationalistic majority) government voluntarily stepping down to give place to technocratic care-taker cabinet leading the way to the next elections

Turkish “democracy”: The two articles that caused the firing of Turkish journalist Ece Temelkuran

[Editor’s Note: Here are two articles written by one of Turkey’s best-known journalists and political commentators Ece Temelkuran in which she criticized the regime’s repressive policy towards journalists and its militaristic policy towards Kurds, a policy that culminated recently in the Uludere massacre that killed over 35 people among them 19 kids. Ece Tumlekuran’s articles were published last week on her former newspaper Habertuk and resulted in her firing from the newspaper under what seemingly was a political pressure from the political establishment.]

Tunisiennes, Tunisiens, votre démocratie est bel et bien en marche…

Imaginez seulement tout ce qui s’est passé en seulement huit mois : la dictature est tombée, et surtout la liberté de parole, de penser, d’écrire a explosé : chacun est libre de s’exprimer, les débats d’idées fusent, votre société est en train de vibrer et le tournant démocratique est à portée de mains. L’obscurantisme est derrière vous. Gardons cet espoir. Autorisons-nous quelques réflexions…

“Démocratisation” néo-libérale du monde Arabe, projets pilotes en Tunisie et en Egypte

Par Takis Fotopoulos – En Egypte et en Tunisie, l’impensable s’est produit. Pour la première fois les pays arabes ont réussi à déraciner des régimes impitoyable et despotiques soutenus par l’élite transnationale, par des insurrections, et non pas, comme d’habitude, par coups d’État. Tout a commencé en Tunisie, où son peuple a été le premier dans le monde arabe à descendre dans la rue et renverser un dictateur efficace.

Bin Ali Baba Tunisia’s last bey?

What happens when money, coercion and blood ties become the potion of power? A ‘state’ is born. Not ‘Tunis,’ that place of congeniality and conviviality as its Arabic name suggests. Rather, a different ‘Tunis,’ a Tunis, which is run and owned by a club of rich and powerful families. That ‘Tunis’ today conjures up a disturbing political triad […]

Tunisia: Routine muzzling of dissent mars upcoming presidential elections

Next Sunday, 25 October 2009, Tunisia will hold presidential and legislative elections in which it is virtually guaranteed that the incumbent, Zine El-Abidine Ben Ali, who has been in power for the last 22 years and is now opposed by three other candidates, will be re-elected as president. As well, the ruling Constitutional Democratic Rally (RCD) party is expected to retain a majority of the seats in the parliament.

Intellectuals’ responsibility in the collapse of the democratic process in Tunisia

Needless to say, there are in Tunisia, just like everywhere else, many historians, writers, and poets, filmmakers, who have never signed a single petition against torture or corruption, while considering themselves in private as democrats. Should we blame the collapse of the democratic process on them ? May be they have not to be blamed because they are not intellectuals at all.