Princeton University Library Catalog

Establishing Democracy in Post-Revolutionary Tunisia: The Role of Ennahda in Tunisia’s Transitional Government

Wolff, Katherine [Browse]
Senior thesis
Kurtzer, Daniel [Browse]
Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs [Browse]
Class year:
126 pages
Summary note:
Tunisia, since its 2011 Revolution, has continued on a path towards democratic consolidation. Crisis has not yet caused Tunisia to derail, although there have been times of uncertainty. The question of how Tunisia has succeeded where others have not is a puzzle with many possible answers. The focus of my research is the role of the governing political party, Ennahda, during Tunisia’s transitional government. The scope is the transitional government period, between the October 2011 elections and Ennahda’s resignation as head of government in January 2014. I find that Ennahda played a crucial role in consolidating democracy in Tunisia. To do so, I examine Ennahda’s behavior during the constitutional drafting process, in implementing economic and security policy, and in handling major political crises. I compare this behavior with established definitions of democracy applicable to the Tunisian context. I will draw on each of these points of analysis to make conclusions about Ennahda’s role in establishing democratic habits and processes. I do not contend that Ennahda’s period of governance was totally successful, as there were certainly weaknesses both in governance and politics. However, I find that, overall, Ennahda contributed to democratic outcomes in the transitional government period. Moreover, the party contributed to a precedent of political inclusion, compromise, and rule of law that aided the consolidation of democracy during the transitional government.