In 2011, popular revolutions unseated long-time dictators and ushered in nascent democracies in five countries in the Middle East and North Africa. While other states slid back into authoritarianism or conflict, Tunisia has shown slow but steady progress in its democratic experiment. However, the Tunisian people lost confidence in political elites as economic growth stalled, creating an opening for the Tunisian president to dismiss parliament and promise change in 2021. Now that President Kais Saied’s “political roadmap” is complete, the U.S.-Tunisia relationship is at an inflection point.

Read the full event transcript

On April 11, USIP hosted Senator Chris Murphy (D-CT) — chairman of the U.S. Senate Foreign Relations Subcommittee on Near East, South Asia, Central Asia, and Counterterrorism and a member of the Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on State, Foreign Operations and Related Programs — for a conversation exploring his views on how U.S. policy toward Tunisia should adjust to new realities on the ground.

Take part in the conversation on Twitter using #USIPNewsmaker.


Lise Grande
President and CEO, U.S. Institute of Peace

Senator Chris Murphy (D-CT)
U.S. Senator from Connecticut

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