General Director and Member of the Board of Directors of the Arab Center for Research and Policy Studies. Dr. Bishara is a researcher and writer with numerous books and publications on political thought, social theory and philosophy, as well as some literary works. He taught philosophy and cultural studies at Birzeit University from 1986 to 1996, and was involved in the establishment of research centers in Palestine including the Palestinian Institute for the Study of Democracy (Muwatin) and the Mada al-Carmel Center for Applied Social Research. In 2007 he was forced to go into exile after being prosecuted by Israel. In 2002 he won the Ibn Rushd Prize for Freedom of Thought, and in 2003 the Global Exchange Human Rights Award. He received his doctorate in philosophy in 1986 at Humboldt University in Berlin, having previously completed his master’s degree there in 1984.
Dr. Bishara has published hundreds of papers and studies in academic journals in various languages. His best-known publications include: On the Arab Question: An Introduction to an Arab Democratic Manifesto; Civil Society: A Critical Study; Religion and Secularity in Historical Context (two parts in three volumes); On Revolution and Revolutionary Potential; Is There a Coptic Issue in Egypt?; To be an Arab in our Times; The Army and Politics: Theoretical Problems and Arab Models; Essay on Freedom; Sect, Sectarianism and Imagined Sects; What is Salafism?; and The Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (Daesh): A General Framework and Critical Contribution to Understanding the Phenomenon. Some of these books have become seminal works in their field.
He also produced a series of three books documenting the Arab revolutions that broke out in 2011: The Glorious Tunisian Revolution; Syria: The Painful Road to Freedom; and Egypt’s Revolution (two volumes). These books deal with the causes and stages of the revolutions in Tunisia, Syria, and Egypt. These books are a rich contribution to the field of contemporary history thanks to their combination of documentation and narration of the day-to-day details of these revolutions and sharp analysis making connections between the social, economic and political backgrounds of each individual revolution.
The beginning of the end:
a) The state's disparagement of the people's intelligence and the security agencies' disdain for their lives.
b) Broad segments of Tunisian society had reached the breaking point as the result of discrimination and exploitation, the pernicious effects of economic growth without development, and a tourist economy that enriches and develops some areas while impoverishing others and that raises property prices without raising general standards of living. To compound these socio-economic ills, the small manufacturing industries that had exported their products to Europe lost their ability to compete when China entered the World Trade Organisation. The Tunisian textile and clothing industries quickly fell into decline and unemployment rates soared.
c) Against such an economic backdrop even the achievements of the previous regime became a source of trouble to the Ben Ali regime. The levels of education had risen considerably in Tunisia because the Bourguiba regime had actually cared about education. But high levels of education become a burden to a regime when it cannot create employment opportunities for graduates and when it cannot meet the higher expectations of the educated classes. As a general rule, the level of frustration is as high as the level of expectations. Education raises levels of expectations and it also raises levels of political awareness and opposition to injustice and corruption. Moreover, the fact that these countries invest in education but whose economy depends on cheap uneducated labour, turns education into a source of unemployed educated youth.
The properties of the Tunisian case:
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