Is Democracy Dead in the Birthplace of the Arab Spring?
By Bruce Stokes, Director of Global Economic Attitudes, Pew Research Center
Special to Foreign Policy
In Tunisia, the euphoria of the Arab Spring has descended into an autumn of discontent. In the wake of rising public unrest, the country’s government has announced it will step down and begin talks with the opposition about forming an interim administration in the run-up to new parliamentary and presidential elections.
As much of the rest of the world has been preoccupied with the civil war in Syria and the political turmoil in Egypt, developments in the birthplace of the Arab Spring threaten Tunisia’s democratic revolution. Worsening national conditions have soured Tunisians’ views of both their political leadership and many national institutions associated with the country’s democratic awakening. And, in a possible harbinger of the challenges that lie ahead for democratic governance in the region, middle-income Tunisians are losing faith in democracy’s efficacy in solving the country’s problems.
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