This week's editor

Mary Fitzgerald

Mary Fitzgerald is Editor-in-Chief of openDemocracy.

Constitutional conventions: best practice

Building consensus in post-revolutionary Tunisia

Tawafuq’ as an idea refers to decision-making not through formal processes relying on potentially divisive majorities but rather informal processes.

Will Essebsi reconstruct himself?

Essebsi should take this crucial moment in Tunisian history as an opportunity to reinvent himself, to rise to the many challenges he faces—greatest of which is to unite Tunisians and support the democratic transition.

This is what the Arab spring looks like

Tunisian voters seem to declare that they hold no indiscriminate prejudice. They simply have a problem with incompetence, corruption, cronyism, and abuse of human dignity.

Tunisia: the Arab exception's test

The probable election victory of Béji Caid Essebsi is a vital moment in the pioneer country of the Arab revolts. It also reveals the scale of Tunisia's economic challenges.

Tunisia’s landmark victory in the struggle against violence against women

Feminist scholars argue that the Qur’an has been misinterpreted and Islamic jurisprudence distorted by patriarchy. They regard the real enemy as patriarchy, not Islam.

The presidential election and linguistic violence in Tunisia

The leading presidential candidates and some of their supporters are setting a bad example with hostile, exclusionist rhetoric, fuelling a tense political atmosphere.

This week's window on the Middle East - December 16, 2014

Arab Awakening's columnists offer their weekly perspective on what is happening on the ground in the Middle East. Leading the week: Who cheered Mubarak’s acquittal on?

State crime, civil society and resistance: lessons from Tunisia

What the state proclaims as legality can in reality be crime on a grand scale. What it defines as crime may instead be resistance to state crime. Only organised civil society can expose these truths.

The life of an American freelancer in the Middle East

There is an urgent need to change the narrative of the region and shift focus from bloodshed, terrorism, religious, sectarian and tribal threats to more in-depth coverage on the ground.

The decline of political Islam in Tunisia

A host of factors and failures have combined to outweigh Ennahda's successes in the transitional period, seeing its popularity shrink since its electoral victory in 2011

For history’s sake, the Arab peoples have revolted

Not only did the Arab peoples revolt, but the power of their revolts was so significant and threatening to the regional geopolitical order that the regional powers had to diffuse the collective consciousness at any cost.

The refutation of the Djerejian doctrine

When, rarely, Middle East elections take place, the Djerejian doctrine seems confirmed. But it is the west who only endorse one vote at one time, when the results serve its interests.

Tunisia: elections, justice and dignity

It is widely said that young people did not vote on Sunday, and at some of the polling stations in central Tunis there were few young people in the queues.

Your fatwa does not apply here

Karima Bennoune has won the 2014 Dayton Literary Peace Prize for Nonfiction with her book Your Fatwa Does Not Apply Here: Untold Stories from the Fight Against Muslim Fundamentalism. She spoke to Deniz Kandiyoti last year about the path that led her to collect these stories. 

Tunisia’s forthcoming elections: transition at risk and arms sales won’t rescue

The mounting social and security risks should prompt the west to engage with all segments of Tunisian society to thwart the rise of sectarianism and polarization, looming in the rest of the Middle East and North Africa.

Tunisia takes steps on the road toward democracy

The Arab Spring has regained force in Tunisia as the country takes important steps towards the democratic foundation of the second republic, the most important of which are the peaceful transfer of power, the ratification of the constitution, and the formation of a technocratic government.

Opposing political Islam: Mohamed Brahmi's widow speaks out

On the first anniversary of Mohamed Brahmi’s assassination, his widow, Mbarka Brahmi, denounces fundamentalism and terrorism in Tunisia.  She urges Tunisians not to support the Ennahdha party, and appeals for peace.

Feeble captain in troubled waters: Algeria’s foreign relations after Bouteflika’s re-election

The current triple crisis also constitutes a chance for Algeria. More than ever it becomes clear that the country is indispensable for a solution of the security problems in the region.

The Arab millennials will be back

Like much of the rest of the Arab Spring, the urge of the millennial generation across North Africa and the Middle East for a more multicultural world seems far from realization, but they have put it on a future Arab agenda. Its moment will return.

'Don't even talk to them': Tunisia's forgotten refugees

When international organisations declare a crisis over and refugee camps are closed, what happens to those who remain? Oliver Tringham reports on a pilot community project to restore rights and create livelihoods for refugees forgotten in the wake of the Arab Spring.

Not the end of the "Arab Spring", is it?

Much has happened in the Middle East in the last four years, but in Europe, the development of the state and of democracy took four centuries and many wars.

Tunisia’s legacy of pollution confronts democratic politics

Oudhref’s response toward the government is, ‘You ignored us for twenty years, and now the first project you bring us is a waste dump?’

The return of oppression in Tunisia

The world has been applauding Tunisia for its new progressive constitution and a new caretaker government of technocrats who are running the country until elections later this year. But do we have to accept ex-Ben Ali officials back into politics while the generation of change is being imprisoned? 

This week's window on the Middle East - May 22, 2014

Arab Awakening's columnists offer their weekly perspective on what is happening on the ground in the Middle East. Leading the week, Welcome to the 'Factory of Men'.

The fate of Gulf migrant workers is deeply connected to the fate of the Arab uprisings

The more the Gulf states pay a reputational cost in the west for maintaining this system of exploitation, the harder it will be for them to resist demands for serious reform. 

Has Tunisia forgotten where its revolution began?

Justice for those who died or were wounded in the revolutionary struggle puts politicians in direct confrontation with the Ministries of Defence and the Interior. No political party has taken that risk.

Tunisia, from hope to delivery

Tunisia has turned a political corner. But great economic problems remain which require careful management and good government, says Francis Ghilès.

The Arab Spring popular uprisings – myth and reality

It is critical to recognize the significance of this revolutionary chapter in the modern history of the Middle East and the creative conceptions and articulations of resistance that shattered the system of domination, particularly the popular roots of these uprisings amongst the urban and rural poor.

Truth is the legacy we want

An op-ed from six youth activists in countries where official truth seeking initiatives are underway or being demanded reveals commonalities in the search for dignity, truth and acknowledgment of crimes. 

Ask a professional: security and democracy in Tunisia

The choice is so easily reduced to a zero sum calculation between security and democracy: the ‘apparatus’ having a considerable interest in making people feel sufficiently insecure to renounce the democratic process in exchange for security. An interview.

Women’s rights in the new Tunisian constitution

The constitution was voted in during a period when belief in the status quo changing had lost all traction. Due to the security situation, public opinion was dominated by fear. As such, Tunisia's transition will have to take place on a different level, namely in the field of legislation and legal practice.

Splintering Tunis

Three years after the revolution, Tunisia is searching for a new urban identity.

The Arab Spring and the changing balance of global power

From an empirical-analytical point of view, what has happened in the Middle East and North Africa since Mohammed Bouazizi died? This is not an opinion piece, but an assessment of underlying factors which have put pressure on the aspiration for justice and political reform launched by the Arab Spring. (5,000 words) 

Governance in the Arab world: history on the run

The hopes that inspired the "Arab spring", of jobs as well as freedom, have hit a rock. But the setbacks since 2011 are part of a wider reordering of the global as well as the Arab landscape. Three years on, Francesc Badia i Dalmases assesses a fluid period.

This week's window on the Middle East - February 18, 2014

Arab Awakening's columnists offer their weekly perspective on what is happening on the ground in the Middle East. Leading the week, Photojournalism in the Palestinian Territories.

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