Salafist movement and sheikh-ism in the Tunisian democratic transition*

In: Middle East Law and Governance
Fabio Merone Research Fellow, Gerda Henkel Foundation,

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Francesco Cavatorta Departement de Science Politique, Université Laval,

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The article examines the complexity of Tunisian Salafism in the context of the Tunisian transition to democracy. Building on primary sources and original field work, the article highlights the theoretical and practical divergences that affect the Salafist camp in Tunisia in its struggle to continue a revolutionary project for a sector of disenfranchised youth unwilling to support a process of renewal of political institutions that they perceive as contributing their marginalization. In addition, the article explores the ways in which, paradoxically, the emergence and public presence of Salafism can contribute to the strengthening of democratic debate in the country.

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