Anouar Boukhars
Boukhars is a nonresident fellow in Carnegie’s Middle East Program. He is a professor of countering violent extremism and counter-terrorism at the Africa Center for Strategic Studies, National Defense University.
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Six years after the revolution that ousted Zine El-Abidine Ben Ali, Tunisia remains in flux. On the face of it, the country should be celebrated for transitioning from political ferment to consensual normalcy. Unfortunately, there is more to Tunisia’s transition to consensual politics than meets the eye. The country is still caught in a turbulent grey zone where strong authoritarian tendencies threaten to pull down the country’s tortuous march towards democratic stability. Some developments are particularly worrisome. The old authoritarian discourse emphasising stability and law and order has regained credence. The repressive habits of the police and security services are also back in full swing. The outlook for democratic stability darkens as the chasm between ordinary citizens and political elites expands. The lurch towards illiberalism and the failure of the successive postrevolutionary governments to make even the slightest dent in Tunisia’s dreadful unemployment rate and sharp regional economic inequalities are undermining faith in elite settlements and state institutions...

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The full text of this article can be found at the African Security Review