European Institute of the Mediterranean

Senior Research Fellow Wolfgang Mühlberger has edited EuroMeSCo Joint Policy Study 5 entitled “The Transformation in Tunisia: The first five years”.


Over the
past six years, Tunisia has been testing new avenues of political order.
Democratic institutions have emerged, underpinned by a new constitution.
However, the entrenched elites defend their acquired taste for preferential
treatment, slowing down democratisation in the name of fighting jihadist
terror. Weak economic growth and persistent regional disparities continue to
fuel discontent, translating into frustration with the expected results of the
democratic experiment. On top of that, rifts between Islamists and
non-Islamists tend to polarise politics, making it difficult to chart a
consensual way forward. Overall, the transition features several elements of
hybridity and fragility, remaining in many aspects a work in progress and
producing a significant number of uncertainties, in instances where the state
should lead and reassure. Accordingly, institutional consolidation risks being
undermined by growing contempt for the state and the emerging political
system. Against this complex backdrop of
issues, the Joint Policy Study provides an overview of the essential features
and challenges of the transition, crystallised in four pivotal problem areas,
each covered by renowned subject matter experts.

The full report is available for download here (7,44 MB).