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The Making of the Tunisian Revolution

Contexts, Architects, Prospects

Edited by Nouri Gana

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A full history of the Tunisian revolution, from its roots decades ago to the ongoing process of becoming a democracy

From late 2010 to the present day, the Arab world has been shot through with insurrection and revolt. As a result, Tunisia is now seen as the unlikely birthplace and exemplar of the process of democratisation long overdue in the Arab world.

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Contents

Introduction
Part I: Contexts: Roots of Discontent
Under the Emperor's Neoliberal Clothes! Why the International Financial Institutions Got it Wrong in Tunisia, Emma Murphy
Playing the Islamic Card: The Use and Abuse of Religion in Tunisian Politics, Kenneth Perkins
United States Policy towards Tunisia since 1956: What New Engagement after an Expendable Friendship?, Lofti Ben Rejeb
'Friends of Tunisia': French Economic and Diplomatic Support of Tunisian Authoritarianism, Amy Aisen Kallander
Part II: Architects: Genealogies of Dissent
From Socio-Economic Protest to National Revolt: Mapping the Workers Origins of the Tunisian Revolution, Sami Zemni
The Powers of Social Media, Tarek Kahlaoui
Rethinking the Role of the Media in the Tunisian Uprising, Rikke Hostrup Haugbolle
Visions of Dissent, Voices of Discontent: Postcolonial Tunisian Film and Song, Nouri Gana
Part III: Prospects: The Postrevolutionary Moment
From Resistance to Governance: The Category of Civility in the Political Theory of Tunisian Islamists, Nadia Marzouki
Women's Rights before and after the Revolution, Monica Marks
The Rise of Salafism and the Future of Democratization, Fabio Merone and Francesco Cavatorta
The Fragile Tunisian Democracy-What Prospects for the Future, Lise Storm
Postscript: Preserving the Exemplar, Nouri Gana.

About the Author

Nouri Gana is Associate Professor of Comparative Literature & Near Eastern Languages and Cultures at UCLA. He is the author of Signifying Loss: Toward a Poetics of Narrative Mourning (2011) and editor of The Making of the Tunisian Revolution: Contexts, Architects, Prospects (EUP, 2013) and The Edinburgh Companion to the Arab Novel in English (Edinburgh University Press, 2013).

Reviews

The seismic event surrounding Tunisia’s Arab Spring has reverberated throughout the world creating in its wake a multitude of observational accounts seeking to explain the Tunisian phenomenon. Yet few have been able to provide the kind of contextual richness and analytical sharpness as the authors of this edited volume. Conceptualized within a historically defined pathway, The Making of the Tunisian Revolution creatively intersects contexts, architects, and prospects to provide a compelling narrative within which to understand the multilayered character of the Tunisian revolutionary experience. Meticulously researched by authors with direct experience in the country, this multi-disciplinary and highly readable book should find a wide audience within academic and policy circles as it constitutes the most authoritative, fair-minded, and deeply informed account of the Tunisian revolution yet published.

- Professor of Political Science at Fordham University, John P. Entelis

This is a readable, strong book whose authors individually and collectively narrate and contextualise Tunisia's revolution masterfully. No other text on the Arab World's first revolution matches this book in terms of substance, evidence, intelligence and clarity of purpose and direction. Nouri Gana and his co-authors must be applauded for finally giving readers a book the chief distinction of which is rich food for thought for all types of readers - the specialist and the lay. This is a work that reveals under-studied dimensions and new angles, presenting the revolutionary foundation in greater depth and detail than any book I have read so far in English and French on the Tunisian political tsunami of 2011. It is a definite must.

- specialist on Arab democratisation, University of Exeter, Qatar University, Al Jazeera English columnist, Larbi Sadiki

The Making of the Tunisian Revolution offers an early and impressive appraisal of the roots and results of a revolution that came to alter the political landscape of the Arab world for good.


- Catherine and Bruce Bastian Professor of Global and Transnational Studies, University of Illinois, Asef Bayat

'Such a relatively short historical period has been treated with a rare depth and a meticulous selection of the issues and dynamics that combine to make Tunisia a case study so interesting to those who analyse the Arab world today.'

- British Journal of Middle Eastern Studies, Vol. 41, No. 4

The Making of the Tunisian Revolution is what an edited volume about Tunisia should be: holistic, polemic, and strategically incendiary. Each chapter is placed to bring into question much of what the media has presented as truth. Herein lays the opportunity to be guided by experts who lead us through the Tunisian revolution into the post-revolution present. Reading this volume compels us to reconsider the standard Tunisia we are often provided: a progressive oasis in "the region," a liberal and neoliberal economic success story for international lending institutions and their cronies to hold up as proof that (so-called) free market capitalism works.

- Claire Oueslati-Porter, Florida International University, Middle East Media and Book Reviews

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