Some experts predicted that the Arab rebellions which began in spring 2011 would widen the strategic and political gap between Arab states undergoing dramatic change and those defending the status quo. Dr. Adeed Dawisha argues that in fact, sectarian tensions and economic constraints have dampened the demonstration effect of the Arab uprisings on regional politics and transformation.

Read the event coverage, USIP-Wilson Center Series on Arab Spring Impacts Concludes

This meeting wass co-sponsored by the Middle East Program at the Woodrow Wilson Center and the U.S. Institute of Peace.

Some experts predicted that the “Arab spring” rebellions would widen the strategic, political, and even ideological gap between Arab states undergoing dramatic change and those defending the status quo.  In fact, no such clear breach has occurred. Instead, Dr. Adeed Dawisha, distinguished professor of political science at Miami University, argues that sectarian tensions and economic constraints have dampened the potentially “incendiary” effect of the Arab political revolts. On June 12, from 10:00am to 11:300am, USIP hosted an engaging off-the-record discussion on these dynamics in the Middle East with Dr. Dawisha, the State Department’s Dafna Rand, and USIP’s Daniel Brumberg.

This event was the fifth in a series of five papers and presentations on “Reshaping the Strategic Culture of the Middle East.”

Speakers

  • Adeed Dawisha, Presenter
    Distinguished Professor of Political Science, Miami University

  • Dafna Rand, Discussant
    Member of Policy Planning Staff, U.S. Department of State        

  • Daniel Brumberg, Moderator
    Senior Adviser, Center for Conflict Management, U.S. Institute of Peace

Related Publications

Tunisia’s Transition Hits a Rough Patch Following COVID Lockdown

Tunisia’s Transition Hits a Rough Patch Following COVID Lockdown

Wednesday, August 12, 2020

By: Leo Siebert

Since uprisings swept the Middle East and North Africa in 2011, Tunisia has long been regarded as the lone democratic success story. But nearly 10 years later, volatile party politics and authoritarian legacies continue to plague the transition. The October 2019 election cycle, marked by low voter turnout, demonstrated Tunisians deep disenchantment with the political class for its failure to address the grievances that sparked the ouster of longtime dictator Zine El Abidine Ben Ali. After the elections, a government was not formed until February 2020. But months later, Prime Minister Elyes Fakhfakh resigned over allegations of conflicts of interest. In recent weeks, the political landscape has shifted rapidly. USIP’s Leo Siebert examines the political wrangling and Tunisia’s post-election political struggles.

Type: Analysis and Commentary

Democracy & Governance

Preventing Conflict During the Pandemic in Southern Tunisia

Preventing Conflict During the Pandemic in Southern Tunisia

Thursday, July 16, 2020

By: Rima Daoud; Sabrine Laribi

Despite being sworn in mere weeks before the COVID-19 pandemic reached Tunisia, the new government’s initial response to the crisis was deemed prompt and efficient by most. But an incomplete decentralization process created tension between local authorities and citizens, as varying interpretations of the virus containment measures caused confusion and panic—with significant implications for communities, businesses, and the most vulnerable. This was particularly true in the country’s southern region, where systemic marginalization has created conditions for social unrest and potential destabilization.

Type: Blog

Global Health

Tunisia’s Citizens and Security Forces Come Together to Combat Coronavirus

Tunisia’s Citizens and Security Forces Come Together to Combat Coronavirus

Thursday, April 23, 2020

By: Adam Gallagher

As COVID-19 began to sweep the globe, the Tunisian government implemented strict measures to stem the spread of the virus, knowing the country’s underprepared health system would be overwhelmed by a widespread outbreak. Beginning on March 17, authorities enforced a 12-hour curfew. Days later, 400 were arrested for breaking that curfew. “Anyone who breaks the security rules will be treated as a criminal because failing to respect rules within the context of the pandemic is a crime,” said Interior Minister Hichem Mechichi. Many Tunisians have bristled at what they see as an overly securitized response.

Type: Blog

Democracy & Governance; Global Health; Youth

Tunisia’s transition has unfinished business. Can Ennahda lead the way?

Tunisia’s transition has unfinished business. Can Ennahda lead the way?

Wednesday, December 11, 2019

By: Adam Gallagher

Fresh off a busy election season, Prime Minister-designate Habib Jemli is in the process of forming Tunisia’s next government. That government will have the daunting task of addressing Tunisians’ deep disenchantment with the political class and its failures to live up to the promise of the 2010-2011 uprising that led to the overthrow of longtime dictator Zine El Abidine Ben Ali. “The big problems confronting Tunisians have not been given enough importance” from the country’s political parties, said Abdelfattah Mourou, the first presidential candidate of the Ennahda party, during an interview at USIP.

Type: Analysis and Commentary

Democracy & Governance

View All Publications