“Instrumentalize” the Assistance: The Changing Legitimacy of ingo s in Democratizing Tunisia

In: Middle East Law and Governance
Pietro Marzo Department of Political Science, Laval University, Quebec, QC, Canada,

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Kerry-Ann Cornwall Department of Political Science, University of Guelph, Guelph, ON, Canada,

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This study provides two theoretical insights that contribute to the debate on the legitimacy of ingo s that promote democracy to intervene in the third countries’ political affairs. First, it argues that the level of legitimacy that political parties endow to ingo s depends on the “instrumental role” that ingo s play in bolstering the achievements of national partners’ goals and is not based on the values and norms that the ingo s promote. Second, it suggests that the degree of legitimacy that political parties grant to ingo s has to be understood as temporarily limited and context dependent. Using the case of ingo s involved in democracy promotion during the Tunisian democratization, this article argues that Tunisian political elites welcomed ingo s assistance during the initial phase of the democracy transition (2011–2014) because their assistance was helpful to enhance the establishment of democracy system and its procedures. The article suggests that since 2015, political parties are showing less enthusiasm about ingo s’ pressure and interference in national affairs because the action of ingo s is no longer useful to their political agenda.

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