Tunisia: In Sun and Shadow



The United States will guarantee a bond issue by the Tunisian government worth half a billion dollars in order to help Tunis implement democratic and economic reforms, the Department of State said in a press release on Friday. The guarantee underscores the U.S. commitment to aid Tunisia’s transition to democracy, it added.

The assistance will be especially welcome in Tunis where the fledgling democracy recently weathered a parliamentary-prompted transfer of power.

While Tunisia is typically seen as the only success story of the Arab Spring, a number of societal, political, and security issues still pose daily challenges to its fragile democracy, according to a new special report from Foreign Policy, in partnership with the Legatum Institute’s Democracy Lab. The special series “[delves] into the complexities of a challenging transition,” says FP’s Christian Caryl, who expresses the “hope that these stories will offer some insight into those Tunisians who are shaping the future of their country.”

Over the course of the next three days, a series of articles, op-eds, and features will highlight aspects of life in Tunisia since 2011’s Jasmine revolution.  Currently available features include:

  • Tunisia’s Glorious Confusion: why the forces that have pulled the other Arab Spring countries back into upheaval still threaten to undo Tunisia’s transition.
  • Terms of Abuse: On paper, Tunisia’s revolution has boosted legal protections for women. The reality is starkly different.
  • Timeline: 5 Years of the New Tunisia.
  • The Mainstreaming of Tunisia’s Islamists: The Ennahda Party’s latest moves put its political astuteness on show once again.
  • Tunisia’s Dying Jazz: New freedoms have brought art and religion into conflict, threatening to crush a tradition trapped in the middle.


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