During the past four years, the Middle East and North
Africa, in particular the countries experiencing what is known as the “Arab Spring,” have followed
very different paths in the process of transitioning from authoritarian rule to regimes more closely
representing the will of the people.
The Tunisian experience in the four
years following “the revolution of freedom and dignity” has been marked by seismic political and
social developments, making it a subject of constant interest to observers and political analysts of
the “Arab Spring” seeking to understand the causes underlying the peacefulness of the Tunisian
This paper attempts to analyze the most significant
developments in Tunisia in recent years, focusing on the phenomenon of severe political polarization
that has dominated the various stages of the transition from decades of authoritarian rule to a
nascent political regime based on the will of the people and rooted in free and democratic
This paper also presents likely scenarios for the near
future, as Tunisian politics moves past the foundational stage, which was concerned with drafting a
new constitution and electing the legislature and
This publication is a research paper in a
series of policy papers published by the Arab Network for the Study of Democracy, which seek to
document and analyze the political developments in the countries of the Arab Middle East that have
witnessed popular uprisings, assessing both their initial causes and the resultant changes and
conflicts, four years later.
Translated to English by Jeffrey D. Reger.