The 2015 Nobel Peace Prize has been awarded to Tunisia’s National Dialogue Quartet, a coalition of civil society groups, “for its decisive contribution to the building of a pluralistic democracy in the country in the wake of the Jasmine Revolution of 2011.” Carnegie experts are available to discuss the significance of this news as well as the current situation in Tunisia.


“The Nobel Peace Prize to the Tunisian quartet gives hope to the Arab region, where for the past few years it has only been bad news. By recognizing the quartet, the Nobel committee highlighted the tremendous value and importance of dialogue and consensus building amongst political leaders at a time when polarization and violence reign supreme. It also draws attention to the value of a dynamic and independent civil society for any thriving democracy, particularly at times of political deadlock.”

Maha Yahya, senior associate, Carnegie Middle East Center

Press Contact: Joumana Seikaly


“What may be most distinctive about this award is that the quartet led by example. Labor and management in Tunisia had been in conflict basically since independence—that’s sort of what labor and management do! So the quartet had to make peace internally before leading the nation. That’s part of what gave it its moral authority. Then, the effort expended by quartet leaders was really significant. This was not a matter of elegant words or a certain abstract stance. Quartet leadership spent multiple, consecutive all-nighters and cajoled, taught, helped, and threatened political actors to produce a solution to the dangerous crisis in which they were mired. Finally, the concrete impact of the quartet’s actions on peace is undeniable. Just look next door to Egypt and you can see a similar situation degenerating into a much bloodier outcome.”

Sarah Chayes, senior associate, Carnegie Endowment for International Peace

Press Contact: Clara Hogan

“First, the prize acknowledges the crucial role that non-state actors, as opposed to governments and political leaders, can play in peacemaking—especially important in a world where non-state actors of all sorts, peaceful and violent, are gaining power at the expense of states. Second, the prize points out how special is the example of Tunisia, the only Arab state that is attempting a genuine transition to democracy and pluralism rather than coercion and zero sum politics. The old models of governance in the Arab world are generally failing, and out of the 2011 uprisings we have seen two new models of governance arise: Tunis and ISIS. We should all ask ourselves which one we want to support. Today, the Nobel Prize committee made clear that Tunisia’s example, combining electoral politics with civil society consensus building, deserves recognition and support.”

Michele Dunne, senior associate, Carnegie Endowment for International Peace

Press Contact: Clara Hogan

“This announcement provides important global recognition for the way civil society in Tunisia was able to bring about an inclusive constitution. I hope this will serve as an example for the region of what inclusive politics can achieve. Having just returned from Tunisia, I can attest to how proud everyone is of this achievement.”

Marwan Muasher, vice president for studies, Carnegie Endowment for International Peace

Press Contact: Clara Hogan

“This is a well-deserved recognition of the way in which many segments of the Tunisian society managed against all odds to move away from dictatorship and extremism and patiently craft a new political framework for themselves. Civil society organizations and women’s organizations deserve a special mention for their utmost dedication in the defense of rights and rule of law. The Nobel Prize illustrates the need for the donor community, especially the European Union, to continue and expand its technical and financial support to Tunisia.”

Marc Pierini, visiting scholar, Carnegie Europe

Press Contact: Monica Tiberi