The Call for Dignity, or a Particular Universalism

in Middle East Law and Governance
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Although the many difficulties of Tunisia’s democratic transition have received significant attention over the past six months, there has been relatively little commentary regarding the claims and attitudes that made the winter mobilizations so unique. The movement’s so-called lack of leadership, the proliferation of parties, the economic and financial crisis, the risk of a supposedly Islamist threat—all these themes have been discussed at length by analysts in Tunisia and abroad. Consequently, rather than engaging in yet another attempt to assess the movement’s success, or predict its failure, this paper examines an aspect of the mobilization that has attracted surprisingly little attention, namely, the Tunisian protestors’ call for dignity (karama) and respect (ihtiram).

Middle East Law and Governance

An Interdisciplinary Journal

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