Tunisian Civil Society: Political Culture and Democratic Function Since 2011, 1st Edition (Hardback) book cover

Tunisian Civil Society

Political Culture and Democratic Function Since 2011, 1st Edition

By Alexander P. Martin


208 pages | 3 B/W Illus.

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Hardback: 9780367149154
pub: 2020-04-30
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Investigating the political transition after the 2011 Tunisian revolution, this book explores whether civil society is fulfilling its democratic functions. Examining the existence of a civil political culture, that is identified through the presence of the six criteria of Freedom, Equality, Pluralism, Tolerance, Trust and Transparency.

The innovation of the volume lies in its critiques of the “transitology” literature, its illustration of the drawbacks of Culturalist and Orientalist narratives of Arab politics, and the complexity it notes with respect to civil society and its varied roles, especially that civil society is not always an unconditionally “good” or democratic force. Using a combination of survey, interview, and observation research approaches, these chapters engage with the development of democratic political culture and democratic knowledge in Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) by understanding how CSOs interact with the state, other CSOs, and its own members.

Presenting both critical theoretical arguments and extensive empirical evidence to demonstrate why Tunisia is such an important case, this book will be of interest to students and researchers interested in political culture, civil society and Middle East and North African studies.

Table of Contents


1. ‘Civil’ civil society: the buttress of democratisation

2. Tunisia’s History of civil society activism: 1574-2010

3. Civil society activism from revolution to transition

4. Surveying Tunisian CSO members' attitudes

5. Interviews with CSO leaders

6. Single case study ethnographic observation




About the Author

Alexander P. Martin is a lecturer in International Relations and Politics. He has worked for the University of Lincoln, University of Tunis, The American University of Beirut, University of Exeter, and Durham University. He holds a Ph.D. in Politics from Durham University.

About the Series

Routledge Studies in Middle Eastern Democratization and Government

This series examines new ways of understanding democratization and government in the Middle East. The varied and uneven processes of change, occurring in the Middle Eastern region, can no longer be read and interpreted solely through the prism of Euro-American transitology. Seeking to frame critical parameters in light of these new horizons, this series instigates reinterpretations of democracy and propagates formerly ‘subaltern,’ narratives of democratization. Reinvigorating discussion on how Arab and Middle Eastern peoples and societies seek good government, Routledge Studies in Middle Eastern Democratization and Government provides tests and contests of old and new assumptions.

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Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
POLITICAL SCIENCE / Political Ideologies / Democracy
POLITICAL SCIENCE / World / Middle Eastern
SOCIAL SCIENCE / Regional Studies