• Research

    The Tunisian Elite and U.S. “Democratic Reform Policy”

    The Tunisian government has convinced the United States that Islamic extremism is such a serious threat that democratic reform in Tunisia would jeopardize counterterrorism efforts. This and a tarnished U.S. image in the region has allowed Tunisia to avoid serious pressure to introduce significant political reforms.

    • Commentary

    President Obama and Middle East Expectations

    • Amr HamzawyMarina Ottaway, Gamal al-Ghitany, Salah ad-Din al-Jourchi, Khaled al-Hroub, Mustapha al-Khalfi
    • January 14, 2009

    Barack Obama's election was celebrated throughout the Middle East. But enthusiasm could quickly turn to hostility if the new administration does not back up its rhetoric with concrete changes to U.S. Middle East policy on three key issues: Palestine, Iraq, and political reform.

    • Sada - Analysis

    Tunisian National Solidarity Fund as an Alternative Model

    The National Solidarity Fund has succeeded in reducing poverty and building a culture of solidarity, despite limited political participation.

    • Sada - Analysis

    Democracy Lite: Arab Judicial Reform

    • John Stuart Blackton
    • August 25, 2008

    Is America serious about democracy and political reform in the Arab world? Does the neo-Wilsonian dimension of the Bush administration's policy toward the region presage a decisive departure from the longstanding realist policy of "regime maintenance"?

    • Sada - Analysis

    Democracy and the Palestine Issue: A Lesson from Tunisia

    Tunisians took to the streets in February protesting Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon's scheduled visit to their country in November 2005 to attend the World Information Summit. Inviting Sharon, seen as a war criminal by many Tunisians and other Arabs, was an undemocratic decision by the Tunisian regime exercised against the popular will of the Tunisian people.

    • Sada - Analysis

    Not the Enemy: The Arab Media and American Reform Efforts

    • Marc Lynch
    • August 22, 2008

    There is broad consensus in Washington that a "war of ideas" is a central component of the larger war on terror. And in this war, a prime target is the "poisonous" Arab media environment, particularly the new satellite television channels , which are blamed for spreading anti-American sentiment.

    • Sada - Analysis

    The Sad State of Political Reform in Tunisia

    To the surprise of no one, on October 24 Tunisians turned out in record numbers—91.5 percent of the country's 4.6 million eligible voters—to re-elect President Zine Al Abidine Ben Ali to a fourth consecutive five-year term. Voters also gave his ruling party, the Constitutional Democratic Rally (RCD-Rassemblement Constitutionnel Démocratique), an overwhelming victory in parliamentary elections.

    • Sada - Analysis

    Information Summit and Freedom of Expression in Tunisia

    The choice of Tunisia to host the November 16-18 second World Summit on the Information Society (WSIS) has provoked much controversy. The idea behind the Summit is to bridge the gap between rich and poor countries in a field that has proven to be one of the focal points of present and future progress.

    • Sada - Analysis

    The Paradox of Press Freedom in the Arab World

    The second of June marked the second anniversary of the assassination of Lebanese writer Samir Qasir, with no indication of who ordered the car bombing that silenced one of the loudest Arab voices criticizing autocratic Arab regimes, particularly the Assad family in Syria.

    • Sada - Analysis

    Five Myths about Western Political Party Aid in the Arab World

    Until recently Western assistance programs aimed at strengthening political parties were less present in the Arab world than in almost all other areas of the developing world. As part of the heightened U.S. and European interest in promoting Arab political reform, however, such programs are multiplying in the region.

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