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Arab Spring: Why did Tunisia succeed while the rest failed

18 November 2020 1502 Views

Abstract

Almost a decade ago, the Tunisian Revolution of 2011 broke out. Seeing the outcome of it, several other Arab nations followed course in what has become known as the Arab Spring. This latter is by far the most important event in the Arab World since Arab nations got their independence after the Second World War. Since then, Arab countries have embraced different political ideologies that shaped their political systems and influenced public life. But in the midst of these ideologies, there has been a chronic absence of democracy. This total lack democracy caused a divergence between statesmen and their citizens. On one side, statesmen remained archaic, authoritarian, and even totalitarian. On the other side, citizens and societies developed a need for democracy to achieve the growth and development that best meet their capabilities, protect their rights, and promote their interests. Nevertheless, not all attempts to implement democracy in the Arab Spring countries have been successful. In this regard, this article comes with the preconception that Tunisia has been the only success of the Arab Spring. The argument to be presented here revolves around three elements. First, Tunisia has long had a strongly institutionalized state. Second, the Tunisian military institution has been apolitical and truly republican. Third, the middle class as a driving force for positive change is remarkably big in Tunisia compared to most other Arab Spring countries. These three elements are shattered separately among Arab Spring countries. However, no country other than Tunisia has them combined in a mutually impactfulmanner.

Introduction

As the year 2011 has shown, the only remedy to the chronic political and governance problems of the Arab world is when the people regain power to bypass all the old ideologies and structures. This return of “rule to commoners” (as the Greek origin of the word ‘democracy’ suggests) means the delegitimization of the regime and the establishment of the fundamentals of democracy. The Tunisian Revolution of 2011 and the subsequent Arab Spring showed a bold example of who has the real power in modern states; the people, and how easily this latter can reclaim it to rearrange public life in its favor.

The course of action of the Arab Spring revolutions followed almost the same pattern; popular protests, procrastination and empty promises from the side of the rulers, popular persistence, crackdown on freedom of assembly, use of force from the side of the rulers, more popular persistence, and eventually the departure of the head of state after bloody confrontations. The results, however, were not the same. Hence, the concern of this article is the “why” and not the “how”. That is, the foundations and the preexisting factors that led to the success of the Tunisian Revolution, and not the development of its events the same way other Arab Spring revolutions have. Although no one can claim that there is an ideal formula to guarantee successful democratization in any country, one can still argue that – in the case of the Arab Spring – there are deterministic factors for the success of implementing democracy in Tunisia.This article argues that Tunisia achieved a successful implementation of democracy thanks to three main factors. First, the history of state institutionalization that goes back to middle of the 19th century and continued to present day. Second, the impartiality of the Tunisian military institution that did not intervene against the people during December 2010 and January 2011 to preserve the regime. Third, the relatively high homogeneity of the Tunisia people that broke away with tribalism and that most of which belong to the middle class.

State Institutionalization and its origins in Tunisia
It is common for social scientists and even more common for jurists and legal realism experts to refer to the constitution as an institution[1]. Not that it is one of those government mechanisms that run on a daily basis to deliver certain functions, but rather because it sets the fundamental and operational framework for all institutions of the state. Hence, the constitution is the institution that spells over legitimacy, functions, limits, and duties on all other state institutions. In modern Tunisian history, the establishment of the constitution as an institution started in 1857 when Mohamed Bey[2] (1855-59),issued the Fundamental Pact[3].The Pact set forth the principles regulating relations between the Bey and his subjects and the rights of foreigners residing in Tunisia. The Fundamental Pact paved the way for the appointment of Kherredin Pasha[4] to draft the constitution of 1861.

Promulgated by Mohamed AlSadok Bey (1859-73), the Constitution of 1861 was the first written constitution in the modern history of the Arab world[5]. Prefaced by a declaration of rights and included 114 articles, it established a constitutional monarchy in which the Bey served as head of state, while the Prime Minister headed the government. The government was not directly responsible to the Bey, but rather to the newly established Grand Council. This latter consisted of 60 members chosen on a rotating basis by the Bey. The Grand Council initiated legislation, approved tax measures, supervised the military establishment, and appointed public officials. Kherredin Pasha, author of the Constitution, was chosen to be the body's first president. In what was a major innovation for a Muslim country, the constitution of 1861 also created the secular Supreme Court, which was tasked with reviewing the decisions of Sharia courts.

The constitutional reforms of 1861 responded to the demand of urban educated elite, which was displeased with the economic situation of the country and the inefficiency of the monarch. Yet, these reforms had less appeal for the rest of Tunisians. Initially, average citizens received the establishment of the constitutional government negatively because it regulated taxes more accurately and levied new ones on agricultural products such as dates and olives. The most serious criticism of the constitutional government, however, came from provincial notables and tribal chiefs - the traditional leadership in the countryside - who recognized the constitution of 1861 for what it was intended to be, a limitation of local and tribal autonomy. From the standpoint of the reformers, this was essential for the creation of a modern nation-state. Opponents of the Constitution appealed over the Bey to the Ottoman Sultan for relief. Rising popular resentment was capped by a serious tribal rebellion that forced the suspension of the constitution in 1864. Although Tunisia's experiment with constitutional government had failed for want of deep-rooted popular support, the modern nationalist movement was premised on the demand for the restoration of the constitution in 1861. Even though the Grand Council was not democratically elected as in modern days, it established the tradition of the government and head of state being accountable to a body representative of citizens’ interests. Moreover, the 1861 Constitution was the beginning of replacing tribalism with citizenship; that is reinforcing the feeling and practice of being an individual with rights and duties instead of a member of a tribe or a clan to which one should adhere and favor to the rest of society.

Despite the negative association in the popular memory, the government of 1861 was more efficient in collecting taxes than qaids[6]. Hence secured better funding to improve public services. Even though such reforms did not survive long, they limited the power of the king - which used to be absolute. They also paved the way for the culture of state institutionalization and accountability. Therefore, they initiated an era of positive change that could have been developed, had Tunisia not fallen under French colonization in 1881. But even then, state institutionalization continued in a different form. The French colonial rule of Tunisia (1881-1956) relied on implementing heavy state institutionalization to link Tunisia to France and to achieve the two main goals of its colonial strategy. The first one was miseenvaleur (developing the colonies to be of value to the colonizer), while the second waspeuplement (settling the French newcomers in an environment that would provide them with public services similar, if not identical, to those in Frence). This tradition was continued later one with Habib Bourguiba, the first president after independence, who was himself a jurist and a graduate of France both in law and in bureaucracy[7].

            State institutionalization is not important solely for the sake of having functional and efficient public institutions per se. It is also important to preserve the continuity of achievements and services provided by the state to the public. Therefore, in order for a state to maintain its very existence and avoid the Hobbesian state of nature, it has to preserve a core mass of structure and functions that do not change with the change of politicians and heads of state. To this end, institutions evolve incrementally to connect the past with the present and the future. They also serve to create order and reduce uncertainty[8]. Therefore, it is crucial to preserve fragments of institutions from previous eras to use them to build newer institutions that can best meet the transitional agenda[9]. The reason is that anarchy and institutional void can be very dangerous and can indeed have a counter effect for societies that seek stability and progress.

            In the case of Tunisia, this continuity was seen immediately after Ben Ali left Tunisia for Saudi Arabia on 14 January 2011. The transition of power took a purely administrative process when then-Speaker of Parliament Fouad Mebazaa became acting president on 15 January 2011 following Art. 57 of the Constitutions of the Republic of Tunisia – which stipulates that the Speaker of Parliament becomes acting president in case of incapacity of the President of the Republic, and that a presidential election should be held within 60 days. While other Arab Spring countries went through bloodshed, civil wars, and even foreign intervention – Tunisia continued its incremental transition peacefully under an institutional umbrella for each milestone of change. First, there as the Higher Authority for Realization of the Objectives of the Revolution, Political Reform and Democratic Transition (March-October 2011). Soon after, the Constituent Assembly (November 2011-October 2014) which membership was elected by Tunisians, was installed to draft a new constitution which brought about a critical rupture with the pre-2011 era, and paved the way for pluralistic political participation.

Impartiality of the Tunisian Military Institution

The second most important factor to consider when studying the success of the Tunisian Revolution and the entire Arab Spring is the role of the military. Throughout the Arab Spring countries, the military institution has been a decisive element in the success or failure popular revolutions and the subsequent democratic transition. Before 2011, there was very little certainty that both Tunisians and Egyptians (along with the rest of the Arab World) would one day get rid of the oppressive and Western-backed regimes that ruled over them for over two decades each. Both nations played the most impressive part of the Arab Spring in terms of peaceful change and tactful use of civil disobedience. What is equally remarkable about the two revolutions is the role that the military played at critical turning points. In both countries, the military stepped in at the right time;at the climax of events and when their countries needed them the most. Ultimately, they functioned as the apparatus that made sure the structure and functions of the state are continued.

However, the transitional phase of Egypt did not follow the same path as the one of Tunisia’s. The military in the second helped bring about a new face of governance in conformity with democratic principles such as rule of law, transparency, and open competition. Egypt, however, could not avoid the return of the institution that ruledthe country since the fall of the monarchy and the declaration of the republic; that is none other than the Egyptian military institution.In this regard, only the Tunisian and Egyptian cases will be looked at as the military institutions in these countries played a political role of a certain level of sophistication. In Libya, Syria, and Yemen, armed forces have been heavilyused for the sole purpose of exterminating and oppressing citizens who expressed discontent with the regime.

By studying the patterns of civilian-military relations, one can get to the conclusion that the image of such relations is usually standard. Especially if it was based on inputs and outputs. This standard relationship is usually based on a civilian government and a professionalized military institution. Scholars who reached this conclusion have largely based their analysis on research that Huntington published in the 1950s[10]. They believe, like he did, that professionalizing the military through training and modernization leads to having a reliable army willing to intervene efficiently in times of need, but otherwise stays in camps and keeps away from politics. However, this approach does not explain the civil-military relationship where the military is the influential factor in public life. In this context, the military plays a direct or indirect role in the public life of countries where the political system does not resemble those of Western democracies[11]. That is to say, where there is lack of a functional democratic system that efficiently runs public life, the military institution steps in to fill that void and becomes the organizational force of the public space.

However, most military institutions in the Arab world came into existence after Huntington’s writings, which means that they represent a different pattern.Therefore, understanding the role of the military forces in these countries could explain the relationship they had with their regimes the eve of the Arab Spring; whether they helped maintain their continuity or whether they sided with the people to accelerate the collapse of the regime. In this regard, the Tunisian military, in contrast with its Egyptian counterpart, played a central role in accelerating the downfall of the Ben Ali regime when it sided with protesters.

The shape of military presence in modern political and public life in Tunisia and Egypt goes back to the birth of the republic in both countries. Modern day Tunisia got its independence from France in 1956 and declared the republic in 1957. It was entirely initiated by civilians, has been ran by civilians, and still has no political figure originated from the military institution, except for the later Ben Ali.However, this latter had very little reliance on the military and alienated it as he spent the better part of his career in the Ministry of Interior Affairs. Egypt, on the other hand, became a republic thanks to the Revolution of 1952 by the “Free Officers Movement”. This military coup d’étatwas the beginning of a history of military rule dressed in civilian suits. The only break that the Egyptian military took from being a political power was in the days of Mohamed Morsi, who did not last long as president of Egypt. Morsinow seems to be the last civilian president of Egypt, since Field Marshal Abdel Fattah al-Sissibecame president in 2014.

It is difficult to understand the nature of civil-military relations in the Arab context without taking into consideration the following factors: 1) the military institution itself in terms of size and capabilities, 2) the social background and professional training of its members as well as their political thinking, and 3) the cohesion of its personnel and whether they prioritize their own interest at the expense of national interest or vice-versa. These factors can help explain the willingness of military officers to intervene in politics or keep a distance[12]. Consequently, the intervention of the military in politics may very well put an end to public space and pose a real threat to major transformations like democratization. Hence, the success of the Tunisian Revolution would not be possible if there was no consent on democracy from society, political elite, and the military institution as the center of hard power. Without such triangular consent, democracy can be beyond reach in any country, at any given point of time. Examples are countless and can be quoted from history and present cases in various parts of the world.

The Tunisian military institution is a unique one compared to its counterparts in the Arab Spring countries. For one thing, it did not participate in any struggle for independence so as to claim legitimacy for any political role in the post-independence era. It has been characterized as a highly-professional force with a modest size and modest equipment. However, unlike what Huntington earlier suggested, this level of professionalism and exclusive devotion to military affairs, is not what shaped the relationship of the Tunisian Armed Forces with statesmen and politics. In fact, the history of its interaction with political figures of the Tunisian state is what contributed the most to its choice of keeping away from politics. To begin with, the first president of Tunisia, Habib Bourguiba who was a jurist by training, set forth very strict regulations to prevent military personnel from forming any political or legal associations – including membership of the ruling party itself. He also refused to use the military to oppress political opponents, but instead used the police, National Guard, and other internal security units. On other occasions, Bourguiba made sure the military institution did not have a say in making political decisions in Tunisia. Which was out of concern that any military view on the way of running public affairs would undermine “bourguibism” as a civilizational ideology for Tunisia[13]. However, at the end of the 1970s, Bourguiba needed the military to intervene in the events of Black Thursday[14] in what he saw an attack to his way of running the country. The Tunisian Armed Forces had no experience in handling social unrest and protests. As a result,officers and soldiers alike felt pushed into a political game of twisting arms rather than meeting their constitutional duty of protecting the country and the people. Black Thursday was the beginning of the military losing trust in the political elite, and high-ranking officers became aware of future attempts to engage their institution in political affairs[15]. Furthermore, Tunisia has had a long tradition – out of conscious political will - of keeping its military budget to a minimum to prevent coups d’état. This consequently reflected on the modernization of military equipment and gave military personnel the impression that they are meant to stay in the corner to be later summoned to oppress political opponents. In 1987, however, when Bourguiba was ousted in a peaceful coup d’état by his then-Prime Minister Ben Ali, this latter did not inform top-ranking officers of the military of his intentions. They were rather informed when the coup was about to take place, and was presented to them as a reality rather than a plan. This turnover of events, along with continuous neglect funding, modernization, and training widened the gap of distrust between the command of the Tunisian Armed Forces and the political leadership[16].

In contrast, Egypt maintains a sizeable army that numbers 470000 personnel. Tunisia, however, has only 60 000. To put this into prospective, the difference of size of the armed forces of the two countries is not only due to the big difference in their population. Egypt, since the establishment of the republic, lives in a hostile neighborhood and went to war several times.Consequently, an added value and considerable attention has been given to the military for legitimate security reasons. Tunisia lives in a way less hostile environment, thus gives more attention to the quality of military personnel from soldiers to top officers.Most of Tunisian military officers come from the coastal areas of Tunisia, and they all went to military academies in either Tunisia, France, Belgium, the UK, or the US. Hence, they are equipped with enough education to take a studied and critical look at their role in public space and the degree of military involvement in political life. While the Egyptian military has been playing a central role in maintaining national defense, guarding borders, providing the country with presidents, ministers, and even ambassadors - it also got involved in the economy to become a business empire.In particular, it does not limit itself to military industry, but it also invests into a wide range of sectors that stretches from agriculture to the construction of roads and bridges, real estate and electronics, home electric appliances, cement, import and export, vehicle production and gasoline, sewage pipes, energy, milk plants, chicken breeding farms, calf and cow farms, vegetable and fruit farms, and even to fish farms. In addition to all these consumer-oriented projects, the army has been investing in the Egyptian tourism industry where its top leaders own and manage major hotels, resorts, marinas, and tourist villages in SharmEl-Sheikh, Taba, and other resort locations[17].

In Tunisia, Rachid Ammar who used to be Chief of Staff of the Tunisian Armed Forces - until his retirement on 25 June 2013 – played a historical role in the Revolution. On 13 January 2011, Ammar refused to follow the direct orders of Ben Ali to shoot protesters participating in the December 2010 and January 2011 protests[18][19]. His answer to the presidential order was; “I agree to deploy soldiers to calm the situation, but the army does not shoot the people[20]”. This firm stand reflected the position of the vast majority of military personnel. It eventually weakened the Ben Ali regime to its downfall because it came at peak of clashes between the demonstrators and the internal security forces, which, all together, could not quell the demonstrations.  It is still debatable whether Ammar’s refusal to use military force against civilians was more the direct reason that pushed Ben Ali to leave Tunisia,or a mere warning sign. However, for historical correctness the role that the Tunisian Armed Forces played at critical turns of events of the revolution, and at later stages of Tunisian democratic transition, has been the exception of the Arab Spring. They proved to be an independent institution with the function of being a shield for the republic and the people, rather than a tool that the ruler can use to smash the public - which it was the case in Libya and continues to be in Syria.

The Importance of the Middle Class

Defining middle class can be tricky because wealth, culture, average income, Power Purchasing Parity, and social equality differ from one country to another. But, in absolute terms, most sociological definitions are in line with Weber’s socio-economic terms that fall between the working class (lower class) and the richest class (upper class) of any society[21].  Karl Marx does as well have his own view on social classes that relies heavily on historical materialism. Nevertheless, Marxism is irrelevant to the study of the Arab Spring societies since none of them is modeled the way Marx preached. In the Weberian view, however, class is one of the aspects of distribution of power as he believed that “the probability that one actor within a social relationship will be in a position to carry out his own will despite resistance, regardless of the basis on which this probability rests” (Weber, 1978: 53). He further explains power as the chance for an individual or a group of people “to realize their own will in communal action, even against the resistance of others”. Accordingly, identifying and seizing the right moment to concentrate this power and use it becomes an empirical question for there are no identifiable landmarks or milestones. In the light of the Weberian definition of power, one can determine that the domination of one class over an entire society would lead to the prevalence of this class and its values over society. At first glance, this might seem like a stereotypical top-to-bottom approach of aristocracy. In the context of revolutions, however, a middle class is classically perceived as the class that seeks to establish democracy and rule of law. The reason when thinking in absolute terms is that middle class is usually more educated than the working class, hence understands democracy in values and practice beyond material needs. Moreover, middle class needs democracy to protect and develop its political and economic rights. Had a society been dominated by the working class, it would need two revolutionary upgrades to reach the same sophistication of demands that a middle class would opt for. The rich class, on the other hand, has typically kept itself out of the business of revolutions and hard confrontations with the state, not to mention being always a demographic minority.

A crucial factor that contributed to the success of the Tunisian Revolution was the horizontal relationship of members of the Tunisian society, which is thanks to the fact that most Tunisians belong to the middle class[22]. By contrast, the middle and upper class in Egypt are a minority compared to the working class. This middle-class dominance helped Tunisians identify with each other once ousting the Ben Ali regime became a popular demand. Unlike the Marxist opinion that middle classes go against history - empirical evidence have proved that this latter has always been a driving engine for societies and an index of development. In fact, some scholars refer to the global importance of middle class as a driver of change in developing countries[23] as this class is equipped with enough potential to push for more reforms and true democracy[24]. In the Tunisian context, it took less than a month from the breakout of the protests that followed the death of Mohamed Bouazizi to the departure of Ben Ali to Saudi Arabia (17 December 2010 – 14 January 2011), hence setting an example for the rest of the Arab world. In addition to the fact that the Revolution was a cross-class alliance in demands and aspirations. The relatively easy and quick mobility of protestors was largely thanks to the dominance of the middle class as the leading majority of the Tunisian population, which in turn aimed at post-materialist demands.

Table 1: Population Share by Welfare Category pre-2010

No.

Country

Population share of each welfare category

Poor

Vulnerable

Middle & Upper

Total

1

Tunisia

9.4%

39.9%

50.7%

100

2

Egypt

20.2%

65.5%

14.3%

100

3

Yemen

32.3%

50.7%

17%

100

4

Syria

40.5%

50.6%

8.9%

100

Averages:

25.6%

51.67%

22.73%

100

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Note:The poverty line and vulnerability line are set at $2/day and $4.9/day respectively. Data for Libya is unavailable.

Source:World Bank[25]

 

By looking at the previous table; if we were to consider the “vulnerable” and “poor” together in one group. The majority of population in this sample of Arab Spring countries belongs to the vulnerable and poor. The only exception was Tunisia where the “middle and upper” class is more than half of the population. In fact, the size of this group being 50.7% is more than double of the average, 22.73%, of the four sample countries. From the opposite direction, the poor in Tunisia were less than 10%, which is less than half of the average for the survey countries being 25.6%. Libya is not present in the sample because, for political reasons, surveys and pollswere rarely conducted during the Gaddafi era.
Everything considered, some researchers suggest citizens’ satisfaction with the status quo in a given country as one of the criteria of class belonging. In this respect, statesmen in developing countries more often than not disregard political rights and civil liberties out of the assumption that their citizens would surrender them in return for economic growth (It’s NOT always about the money, stupid!). This assumption has repeatedly proved to be wrong because personal wealth does not quell citizens’ eagerness to participate in the decision-making process of the state nor makes up for alienating them from participating in governing their country.In practical terms, monetary welfare does not affect factors of citizen satisfaction with the government such as good governance, trust in the system, perception of corruption, and overall country development.The authors of the World Bank study who put together the data on the previoustablesuggest that “relying exclusively on objective data to measure welfare dynamics accurately is difficult, if not impossible”. They also believe that it is better to set national thresholds for every country depending on its circumstances then asking people where they would classify themselves and cross-check that with data. Just like sizing classes, global thresholds of welfare are not easily recognizable either. Hence, the feeling of deprivation of freedoms and political rights accumulates over time and leads up to confrontation. Still in the context of the Arab Spring, the World Bank noted that by 2010, people in the Arab Spring countries were among the least happy in the world with “dissatisfaction widespread but more pronounced for the middle 40% of the population than the bottom 40%[26]. That, again, with Tunisia having more than double the average of middle class citizens among Arab Spring countries, it is no wonder that Tunisian middle class was the driving force of change in Tunisia and consequently in the whole region.

Conclusion

            Not only did the Tunisian Revolution get Tunisians rid of the autocracy of Ben Ali and his kleptocratic gang, but it also helped them acquire their full political rights to mirror the true ideals of democracy. This refurbishes the relationship between society and the political elite in the way that the people have the last say, which is the very essence of democracy. Moreover, Tunisians now enjoy the liberty to criticize openly politicians and public authority figures without fear of prosecution. Before 2011, one would refrain from criticizing the regime even behind closed doors. What could be worse was to belong to an opposition party that was outlawed by the regime regardless of being right or left. Such political activity would often lead to arrest, imprisonment,and torture - which is usually followed by deprivation of basic civil rights such as work, healthcare, and holding a passport to name a few.

Though the domino effect of the Arab Spring that started in Tunisia did not produce the same results in all countries, it, nevertheless,helped people realize the amount of power they have. Even if not all attempts to transition from dictatorship to democracy succeeded, Arab citizens upgraded their political awareness from being passive receivers to critical thinkers. Furthermore, the Arab Spring contradicted earlier theories that associated democracy solely with the West and that trying to spread democracy as a Western value, rather than a global one, would lead to a clash of civilizations[27].

Dr. Mohamed MoncefMarzouki, the first post-Revolution president and a human rights activist, tells an anecdote to debunk the statement of “Arabs and Muslims are not fit for democracy”. He says that an Italian member of parliament once told him: “When Italy first became a republic, Brits used to say that Italy cannot be a democracy. Why? Because democracy has Protestantism for religion[28][29] while Italy is Catholic.”

 

Table 2: Summary of the Arab Spring revolutions

 

Mass

Civil Protests

Fundamental Political Changes/Reforms

Preservation of State Institutions

Armed Conflicts

Economic Hardships

Security Issues

Successful Democratic Transition

Tunisia

Yes

Yes

Yes

No

Yes

Yes

Yes

Libya

Yes

Yes

No

Yes

Yes

Yes

No

Egypt

Yes

No

Yes

No

Yes

Yes

No

Syria

Yes

No

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

No

Yemen

Yes

Yes

No

Yes

Yes

Yes

No

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Ayoub AlBahri


[1] K. N. Llewellyn, Constitution as an Institution, Columbia Law Review Vol. 34, No. 1 (Jan., 1934), pp. 1-40, Columbia Law Review Association, Inc.

[2] The Tunisian title for kings in that era.

[3] In Arabic: عهد الأمان

[4]Kherredin Pasha (1820-1890): a CircassianMamluk who grew up in the Tunisian royal court, educated at the finest Tunisian and Ottoman schools of law and administration. He went gradually from Minister, to Grand Vizier of the Beylik of Tunis and eventually the Grand Vizier of the Ottoman Empire; a rank equivalent to today’s Prime Minister.

[5] Tunisia had a much earlier institutionalized state. Carthage had its own Constitution (mentioned in Aristotle’s book “The Politics”); it introduced the notion of citizenship, established a Senate, and even structured the state into departments and offices. However, it will not be dealt with here because its effect is too distant in the past to have any tangible contribution to today’s reality of Tunisian society and politics.

[6] A Tunisian military rank equivalent to today’s Captain.

[7] Derek Hopwood. “Habib Bourguiba of Tunisia: The Tragedy of Longevity” pp. 59-69. Palgrave Macmillan, 1992.

[8] Douglas C. North. The Journal of Economic Perspectives, Vol. 5, No. 1. (Winter, 1991), pp. 97-112.

[9] David Stark & Laszlo Bruszt. “Postsocialist Pathways: Transforming Politics and Property in East Central Europe (Cambridge Studies in Comparative Politics)” pp. 82-84. Cambridge University Press, 1998.

[10] Samuel P. Huntington, The Soldier and the State: The Theory and Politics of Civil-Military Relations. Cambridge, MA: Belknap Press of Harvard University Press, 1957.

[11]David E. Albright, “Civil-Military Conceptualization of Civil-Military Relations”, World Politics, vol. 32, no. 4 (June 1980), pp. 553-576.

[12]MorisJanovitz. “The Military in the Political Development of the Nations” p. 2. Chicago, University of Chicago Press: 1964.

[13]L. B. Ware. “The Role of the Tunisian Military in the Post-Bourgiba Era.” Middle East Journal 39, no. 1 (1985): 27-47. Accessed November 11, 2020. http://www.jstor.org/stable/4326972.

[14] On 26 January 1978 Tunisia witnessed a massive national strike. For the first time in the history of the republic, armed forces went on the streets to quell the riots, and nationwide curfew was imposed. On that day, more than 400 civilians died and another 1000 were wounded.

[15]Noureddine Ben Jebnoun. “The Tunisian Revolution: Causes, Contexts and Challenges – A Group of Researchers” pp. 325-350. Beirut: Arab Center for Research and Policy Studies, 2012

[16] Clement Moore Henry, “Tunisia’s Sweet Little Regime”, in: Robert I. Rotberg, ed., Worst of the Worst: Dealing with Repressive and Rogue Nations pp. 301-302, Washington DC: Brookings Institution Press, 2007.

[17] Henry Harding. “ANALYSIS: Egypt's military-economic empire”. Middle East Eye, March 26th, 2016.
Last retrieved: July 4th, 2016.

[18] Kirkpatrick, D., "Power in Tunisia Changes Hands 2 Times in 24 Hours". The New York Times, 15 January 2011.

[19] Ben Hassouna, A., “Le général Ammar, l’homme qui a dit non”, Jeune Afrique, 07 February 2011.

[20] Lasserre, I., “Rachid Ammar, le centurion du people”. Le Figaro, 21 January 2011.

[21] Max Weber. “Economy and Society” vol. 1 pp. 302-310. University of California Press, 2013.

[22]Juan J. Linz and Alfred Stepanin “Problems of Democratic Transition and Consolidation refer to a very similar concept, but rather in the case of civil society rather than among citizens. They employ that for Southern Europe, South America, and Post-Communist Europe”, where the concept of “horizontal relationship of civil society with itself” was developed by Peter Evans, “State Power and Strength of Civil Society in the Southern Cone of Latin America”, in Peter Evans, Dietrich Rueschemeyer, and Theda Skocpol, eds., Bringing the State Back In (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1988), 317-43. The complex and extremely important process of the interweaving of civil society in Poland to form the fabric of opposition is similar to that of Brazil, where a fabric composed of “new unionism”, base community groups, the “people’s church”, and intellectuals, was crucial in democratizing, not just liberalizing, the regime. See the essays in Alfred Stephan’s edited volume, “Democratizing Brazil: Problems of Transition and Consolidation” (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1989), esp. 143-296.

[23]Chunlong Lu. “Middle Class and Democracy: Structural Linkage”. International Review of Modern Sociology Vol. 31, No. 2 (Autumn 2005), pp. 157-178

[24] International Policy Centre for Inclusive Growth – Poverty Practice, Bureau for Development Policy, UNDP. “Poverty in Focus”. Number 26.

[25] Hai-Anh H. Dang & Elena Ianchovichina. “Welfare Dynamics with Synthetic Panels – The Case of the Arab World Transition”. World Bank, Policy Research Working Paper 7995, March 2016.

 

[26] World Bank. “Middle Class Frustration Fueled the Arab Spring”. October 21st, 2015.

Last retrieved: November 6, 2020.

[27] Mahmoud "Max" Kashefi, 2013. “The “Arab Spring” and its Theoretical Significance: Samuel Huntington’s Theory, “The Clash of Civilizations,” Revisited." Societies Without Borders 8 (2): 178-204.

[28] Max Weber. “The Protestant Ethic and the Spirit of Capitalism”. London: George Allen and Unwin, 1930.

[29] Steve Bruce. “Did Protestantism Create Democracy?”.Democratization, Vol.11, No.4, August 2004, pp.3–20.

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