October 02, 2017

Tunisia Passes Controversial Law, Undermining Democratic Transition

By Kate Bateman

Tunisia’s parliament recently passed a controversial law effectively granting amnesty to public officials involved in corruption under the Bourguiba and Ben Ali dictatorships from 1955 through 2010. The law thus ensures impunity for the very system of government corruption that the Tunisian people sought to upend in their revolution of 2010 to 2011.

As a relatively stable, democratic country in a tumultuous region, Tunisia is critical to the United States’ efforts in North Africa to counter ISIS, reduce drug smuggling and address migrant issues. A successful and peaceful democratic transition in Tunisia would serve as a model not just in the Arab world, but for any country emerging from dictatorship. Yet many ordinary Tunisians are losing faith that the revolution can deliver on its promises of economic justice. Some Tunisians voice a reluctant nostalgia for the Ben Ali regime–mainly in response to the ailing economy and a sense of greater insecurity due to the terrorist threat.

Read the full op-ed in Lawfare.

  • Commentary
    • Global Security Review
    • January 5, 2022
    Protecting The Hazara People Of Afghanistan Is A Moral Obligation The World Is Failing To Meet

    Once the largest of Afghanistan’s ethnic groups, Hazaras now make uponly 9 percent of Afghanistan’s population of 36 million, and Genocide Watch has declared this a “genocide ...

    By Alice Hickson

  • Commentary
    • Foreign Affairs
    • December 16, 2021
    Rightsizing in the Middle East

    Washington’s large Middle East presence is more than just wasteful....

    By Becca Wasser & Elisa Catalano Ewers

  • Reports
    • December 9, 2021
    Lessons of the Syrian Conflict

    Executive Summary In October 2019, The New York Times published a feature story describing how “Russia, Turkey and Bashar al-Assad carved up northern Syria as the Americans re...

    By Nicholas Danforth

  • Reports
    • November 17, 2021
    The Future of the Digital Order

    Executive Summary Nations that successfully harness the vast economic, political, and societal power of emerging information and communications technologies will shape the fut...

    By Jeff Cirillo, Lisa Curtis, Joshua Fitt, Kara Frederick, ​Coby Goldberg, Ilan Goldenberg, Andrea Kendall-Taylor, Megan Lamberth, Martijn Rasser & Dania Torres

View All Reports View All Articles & Multimedia