Tunisia: “Democratizers” and Islamists

February 5, 2022 — 1 Comment

 Tunisia, a little-known country in the US  before the so-called Arab Spring uprisings started in 2010, attracted, immediately after the fall of the autocratic regime of President Ben Ali, a lot of attention on the part of a collection of Washington DC-based pundits, comprised of various commentators as well as democracy promoters, instructors, observers and supervisors[1], They are lumped together in this paper under the label of “Democratizers”, as they often harbor a soft spot for liberal neo-conservatism[2], sharing the same devotion to democratize the world, and spread free-market economy in its current neoliberal version[3] worldwide, including, of course, in the Arab world. This “democratizers” picture would not be completed without mentioning another group comprised of amateurish transitologists and consolidologists  as well as “specialists” of Islam and Islamism, and (overnight) so-called “experts” on Tunisia, with some of them holding influential positions in Washington DC think tanks and other entities part of the foreign policy establishment. All of them anxious to affix their names to the democratization process of an Arab nation. However, the fact of the matter is that they endeavored and succeeded in framing the narrative and debate about post-Arab Spring Tunisia in terms largely favorable to the Islamists, thus contributing to ensuring them the continuous support of the US government and get a certain international legitimacy.


[1] Tunisia –IRI Election Observation Mission (EOM)

[2] Wilsonian idealism mated with neoconservative interventionism, see:  The liberal neocon The paradox of liberal foreign policy

[3]As a reminder, here is a concise definition of neoliberalism:  https://www.thoughtco.com/what-is-neoliberalism-definition-and-examples-5072548

One response to Tunisia: “Democratizers” and Islamists

  1. 

    Why is all the blog about Tunisia. Is that what you mean by the Maghreb? Also, the sick man of the Maghreb is not Tunisia at this stage. It is Algeria where the catastrophe is happening at any time.

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