Cartelization, Neoliberalism, and the Foreclosure of the Jasmine Revolution: Democracy’s Troubles in Tunisia

In: Middle East Law and Governance
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  • 1 Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies cpower15@jhu.edu

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While frequently hailed as the sole success story of the Arab Uprisings, the consolidation of Tunisia’s Jasmine Revolution has in fact proven deeply problematic. This paper will argue that the frailty of Tunisia’s democratic present is a direct function of liberal democratization, specifically implicating this practice of democratization in the hollowing and cartelization of the political system. In insulating policymaking within a host of nocturnal councils, I will argue that liberal democratization has purposefully obstructed the translation of popular preferences into policy outcomes, thereby preventing the Tunisian people from realizing the social democracy they so clearly desire.