Tunisia's Revolution: Causes, Contexts, and Challenges

27 May, 2012

Published by the Arab Center for Research and Policy Studies in February 2012, The Tunisian Revolution: Causes, Contexts, and Challenges (496 pages) is a collection of scholarly studies on different aspects of Tunisian society written by a variety of experts, all of whom had presented their work at an ACRPS academic symposium that addressed Tunisia's revolution in January 2011. The book is composed of the following studies: "The mechanisms of repression in Tunisia prior to the January 14 Revolution," by Lutfi Tarshouna; "The social and economic background to the revolution," by Aisha Al Tayeb; "A reading of the social and economic indicators," by Walid Haddouk; "The civil nature and popular backing of the Revolution," by Al Mouladi al-Ahmar; "The social and political significance of the middle class," by Hussein al-Dimassi; "A preliminary reading of the social and cultural indicators," by Mahdi Mabrouk; "Political parties and organizations and their role in the Revolution," by Abdullatif al-Hannashi; "The political party landscape following the revolution," by Salahuddin al-Jourshi; "The Tunisian General Trades Union," by Adnan al-Munsir; "The media and the Revolution," by Ezzedine Abdelmoula; "The Army's role in the Revolution," by Noureddine Jabnoon; "Events in Tunisia and issues of Arab reform," by Kamal Abdellatif; "The constitutional underpinnings of the Second Republic," by M'hamad Malki; "Explaining the Arab Democracy Deficit," by Samir Maqdissi; and "Democratic transition in contemporary Arab thought," by Suhail Lhabib.
It is this variety of research interests, as well as the depth and differences of opinions between the various contributors, that gives the book its true value, with its breadth of scope and richness. As a whole, the book attempts to understand the historical event, which is the Tunisian Revolution, from all of its many facets. It is not only that Tunisia's Revolution was the first of all of the others, but that it is most likely to become the template which will spread throughout the remaining Arab countries, if it proves to be successful and persistent.

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