The ‘Spark’ That Started it All
"الشعب يريد إسقاط النظام = The people want to bring down the regime"
Tunisia's “Jasmine Revolution” is the first popular uprising to topple an established government in the Middle East and North Africa since the Iranian revolution of 1979; it’s also the spark that ignited and inspired other Revolutions in the region. It unfolded in three phases: First, on December 17, 2010, a young Tunisian street vendor, Mohamed Bouazizi, set himself on fire in hopelessness and to protest his treatment at the hands of the authorities. Demonstrations broke out in his rural hometown followed by protests in other areas of the country. A brutal security crackdown followed, reported in chocking details by online social media. Second, when protests reached the capital, Tunis, the government responded with even more brutality, arresting demonstrators, activists, and shutting down the Internet. Lastly, the President, Zine el-Abedin Ben Ali, shuffled his cabinet and promised to create 300,000 jobs, but it was too late; protesters now just wanted the regime to fall and its President stripped of any power. On January 14, Ben Ali and his family fled the country taking refuge in Saudi Arabia. This act marked the end of one of the Arab world's most repressive regimes. It was a victory for people power and perhaps the first time ever in history that an Arab dictator has been removed by a revolution rather than a coup d’Etat.
Tunisian Transition Oral History Project Complete — INCITE The Tunisian Transition Project includes 58 oral histories with 41 narrators totaling 110 recorded hours. Narrators include politicians, officials and notable figures in the Tunisian transitional period, including Mehdi Jomaa, Moncef Marzouki, and Neila Chaabane. Each interview began with a historically grounded question, “Where were you during the events of December and January 2010?" From there, narrators also discussed their life trajectories, from childhood memories of Tunisia to their coming of age in Tunisian politics and the directions that their diverse careers took them. Perhaps most compelling to the aims of this project are the narrators’ testimonies of their experiences with the technical government itself as they attempted to answer the outstanding demands that sparked the revolution, such as a lack of political freedoms, food price inflation, corruption, and poor living conditions.
- Chronology of the Tunisian Revolution (Cornell)
- WikiLeaks Cables from the U.S. Embassy in Tunis, Tunisia
- Arab Revolutions Archive TUNISIA / The Arab Democracy Foundation
- Tunisia - Reporters Without Borders
- Archives—Free Tunisia
- الموسوعة الحرة لخلق وجمع المحتوى العربيالثورة التونسية 2011
- Les Archives de la révolution Tunisienne. Photos
- Tunisian Revolution - Arabic Documentary 2011 يوم أراد الشعب - برنامج وثائقي عن الثورة التونسية
- Archives de la Révolution Tunisienne
- La révolution Tunisienne selon les caricaturistes
- Tracking the Middle East's Hashtag Uprisings
- ويكيليكس بالعربية Wikileaks Arabic
- خبار وثائق ويكيليكس | Arabic.RT.com
- Tunisia Jasmine Revolution News Ein News
- Tunisia: An ongoing laboratory for Arab revolution (Haaretz, 16 Dec., 2011)
- Five Tunisian Films from a Postrevolutionary Perspective
- Tunisia: The Arab Spring's success story? (A group of Tunisians try to figure out how to make the move from revolution to a functioning democratic state). aljazeera.com
- Poisoned spring: revolution brings Tunisia more fear than freedom / Robert Fisk( independent.co.uk,21 February 2012 "The hopes vested in last year's uprising have ended in continued censorship, growing intolerance and unemployment ..."
- “Arrays of Egyptian and Tunisian Everyday Worlds. An update on the project ‘In 2016—How it felt to live in the Arab World five years after the “Arab Spring”’. Journal of Arabic and Islamic Studies 17 (2017): 455-508 (open access).
Social Media & Networks
- Tunisian Revolt
- Sans Ben Ali
- 14 Janvier 2011 TN
- Hidden Truth
- الثورة التونسية على الفيس بوك
- Tunisia Tunisia on Facebook
- Nawaat, (Tunisian group blog / video-sharing)
- Capturing Tunisia protests on video (Aljazeera)
- (Slim Amamou, a dissident blogger who joined the Government as Youth & Sports Minister)
- Tunisia Watch
- A Tunisian Girl
- “Bab Tounes” (Tweet)
- Babnet Tunis
- Maghreb Intelligence
Tunisia’s Elections for A Constitutional Assembly, 2011
The campaign for the first elections born of the revolts that swept the Middle East began in Tunisia on Saturday, 1 October. It features 81 political parties (out of more than 115 recognized parties) competing in the elections, making up 785 electoral lists; another 676 lists are composed of independent candidates. They’re competing for 217 seats. It is expected that those elected to a provisional constituent assembly will then have a year to write a constitution outlining how Tunisians will govern themselves before elections for a regular parliament will be held.
♦Tunisian Elections, 2011 (Cornell)
♦IFES Election Guide. Tunisia. Democracy assistance & elections news from the Consortium for Elections and Political Process Strengthening (CEPPS) / International Foundation for Electoral Systems (IFES).
Voters Online Guides (about Candidates and Parties) "Aims to Help Voters Understand Parties, Tunisia's best fixers." A new interactive platform for voters to better know the political parties running for the elections. The web site is designed to address the questions of whom to vote for, why, and how to tell the difference between Tunisia’s numerous political parties.
Elections 2011 Ajidoo.com Programs of leading parties.
Nchoof.org, launched on Sunday (October 2nd), enables Tunisians to present their complaints of malpractice during the electoral campaign and vote counting. The Citizenship Alliance for Elections Monitoring, which comprises associations “My Voice”, “Political Awareness” and Internet Society Tunisie (ISOC), developed the initiative.
IkhtiarTounes New Tool for Undecided Voters
*الجمهورية التونسية : المجلس الوطني التأسيسي (National Constituent Assembly. Official site)
* المجلس الوطني التأسيسي التونسي (National Constituent Assembly) In: Europa World online. London, Routledge. [Login--for non-Cornell]
* National Constituent Assembly openin session 22 November, 2011 / المجلس الوطني التأسيسي يفتتح أولى جلساته - تونس - FRANCE 24 تشرين الثاني / 22 (نوفمبر) 2011
*The Tunisian Independent High Authority for the Elections officially announces the final results (Official Announcement/Election Results). The Islamist party Ennahda obtains 41,47 %, securing 89 seats in the 217-member constituent assembly. Furthermore, the Congress for the Republic receives 29 seats, Ettakattol 20 seats and the Progressive Democratic Party 16 seats. One independent list, the People's Petition for Justice, Liberty and Development, obtains 26 seats. The turnout is 86,1%.
*The same day, a presidential decree (Decree 3576-2011) convokes the constituent assembly to hold its first session on November 2011.
*22 November 2011, The Constituent Assembly holds its first session and elects Mustapha Ben Jaafar, the President of the Progressive Democratic Party, as President of the Assembly. Mr. Ben Jafar’s party ranked fourth in the election, gaining 19 out of the 217 seats of the Constituent Assembly. His election is part of a coalition agreement, signed on 21 November 2011, between his political party, the Islamist moderate party Ennahda, and the Congress for the Republic.
*Tunisia’s new assembly holds “historic” first session Tunisia’s ‘Second Republic’ تونس الجمهورية الثانية
*Tunisia Elects New Interim President (December 12, 2011)
*Writing Constitutions After the Arab Spring (Foreign Affairs)
*Final report on the Tunisian National Constituent Assembly elections : October 23, 2011. Washington, DC : National Democratic Institute for International Affairs, 2011. 32 p., PDF file. On oct. 23, 2011, tunisians voted in an election that held profound consequences for the future of their country and the broader region. Nine months after toppling an authoritarian leader and in a country with little democratic experience, citizens waited for hours in line at polling stations to elect members of a constituent assembly that would be tasked with forming a new interim government and writing a new constitution.
*Democracy, women’s rights, and public opinion in Tunisia / Robert Brym & Robert Andersen. The Arab Spring demonstrated that public opinion can powerfully affect the region’s political life. Tunisia is particularly important in this regard; it is the Arab country where democracy has taken firmest root and is therefore of enormous geopolitical significance insofar as it can serve as a model for other countries in the region. This article assesses the state of Tunisian democracy using data from a 2015 survey of 1580 Tunisian adults.
Subject Headings (Search Terms in the Online Catalog)
You can search the online Library Catalog to find books, journals (in print and digital), databases, DVDs, CDs and more in all campus libraries and beyond. It would be helpful to think about which search terms will be effective and structure a search that the Library tools can understand. The following are examples of subject search terms (Subject Headings) used for research topic:
- Tunisia - History - Revolution, 2011
- Tunisia - History - Demonstrations, 2010-
- Bin ʻAlī, Zayn al-ʻĀbidīn - Resignation from office
- Bouazizi, Mohamed, 1984-2011
- Crises - Tunisia - Politics and government - 21st century
- Democratization - Tunisia - 21st Century
- Protest movements - Tunisia - 21st Century
- Revolutions - Tunisia - History - 21st century
- Tunisia - Politics and Government - 21st Century
- Online social networks - Political aspects – Tunisia
- Social networks - Political aspects – Tunisia
- Twitter - Political aspects – Tunisia
- Arab countries - History - Arab Spring, 2011
- Arab countries - Politics and government - 21st century
- Protest movements - Arab countries - 21st century
- Revolutions - Arab countries
- Revolutions - Arab countries - 21st century
- Government, Resistance to - Arab countries - History - 21st century
- Democratization - Middle East - History - 21st century
Keyword Search Terms & Phrases
You can also start with a general keyword search. The following are suggested Keyword Search Terms (may be also useful as Internet Search Terms and phrases)
- Tunisia's Jasmine Revolution
- Jasmine Revolution
- Tunisian uprising
- Pro-Democracy Movements in Tunisia
- Revolution in Tunisia
- “Arab Spring" Tunisia
Background, Timelines and Maps
Interim Government of National Unity and The Transition, 14 January-23 October, 2011
Chronology of the Tunisian Revolution Text & Audiovisuals (Cornell List)
Revolution in cyberspace: Internet, Social Media, etc.
The interim government after 14 January, 2011
Influence of Spread of the revolution
“Arrays of Egyptian and Tunisian Everyday Worlds. An update on the project ‘In 2016—How it felt to live in the Arab World five years after the “Arab Spring”’. Journal of Arabic and Islamic Studies 17 (2017): 455-508 (open access).
Documents & Electronic Texts
This other hidden face of the Tunisian revolution: its rurality. Based on a unique survey, this sociological analysis tackles one of the lesser known aspects of the. Tunisian revolution.
- Salaymeh, Lena, and Eric Gobe. "Tunisia's 'revolutionary' lawyers: from professional autonomy to political mobilization." Law and Social Inquiry 41, no. 2 (2016): 311-45 [PDF]
- Tunisia's way. Popular protests in North Africa and the Middle East (IV) [PDF]
- WikiLeaks Cables from the U.S. Embassy in Tunis, Tunisia
- [ARABIC] New Press Law. –Decree No. 115, Nov. 2, 2011.
مرسوم عدد 115 لسنة 2011 مؤرّخ في 2 نوفمبر 2011 يتعلق بحرية الصحافة والطباعة والنشر
- PRESS LAW Decree [English]
- Interim Government of National Unity and The Transition, 14 January-23 October, 2011
- Higher Commission for the Realization of the Objectives of the Revolution and Democratic Transition (Decree 06-2011 of February 18, 2011).
- Promulgation of Decree 14-2011 which dissolves the Parliament, the Conseil Constitutionnel and the Conseil Economique et Social and provides for a new organization of public authorities.
- Decree 27-2011 creating an Independent High Authority for the elections.
- Promulgation of the electoral code on the election of the Assemblée Constituante, Decree 35-2011 modified and completed by Decree 72-2011 of August 3, 2011.
- Promulgation of Decree 87-2011 on political parties
- Promulgation of Decree 88-2011 on associations.
- The Tunisian Independent High Authority for the Elections officially announces the final results (Official Announcement/Election Results).
- Constitution of the Republic of Tunisia_Arabic (187.8 KB)
- Constitution of the Republic of Tunisia_English ( 92.2 KB)
- Constitution of the Republic of Tunisia_French ( 86.2 KB)
- Decree 14-2011 on the Organization of the Public Authorities_Arabic ( 85.6 KB)
- Political transition in Tunisia / Alexis Arieff. [Washington, D.C.?] : Congressional Research Service, 2011. (digital, PDF file) On January 14, 2011, Tunisian President Zine el Abidine Ben Ali fled the country after weeks of mounting anti-government protests. Tunisia's mass popular uprising, dubbed the "Jasmine Revolution," sparked anti-government movements in other countries across the region. Ben Ali's departure was greeted by widespread euphoria within Tunisia. Yet disputes over reform priorities, economic crisis, labor unrest, tensions between the privileged coastal region and relatively impoverished interior, and lingering insecurity are continuing challenges. The humanitarian and security impact of events in neighboring Libya present additional difficulties. National elections were held on October 23 to select a National Constituent Assembly. The Assembly has put in place a transitional government and is expected to draft a new constitution, ahead of new elections that have yet to be scheduled. Thousands of candidates competed for seats in the Assembly, but the outcome showed popular support to be primarily focused on a handful of political parties. ... These pertain to the struggle between reformists and entrenched forces carried over from the former regime; the potential shape of the new political order; the role and influence of Islamism in the government and society; the question of how to transform the formerly repressive security services; and the difficult diplomatic balance -- for the United States and other actors -- of encouraging greater democratic openness while not undermining other foreign policy priorities.
- Confidence-building in Tunisia after the popular uprising: strategies and dilemmas of the interim government. Roma : Istituto affari internazionali, 2011. 08 pages. Since the fall of Ben Ali on 14th January 2011, Tunisia has been going through a process of transformation and reconfiguration of the manifold relationships between the state and society. So far, a series of legal amendments and policy provisions have been considered to respond to immediate political demands in the run-up to the next elections.
- Les voix d'une révolution : conversations avec la jeunesse tunisienne : conclusions de groupes de discussion avec des jeunes Tunisiens réalisés entre le 11 et le 24 mars 2011 / Elaboré pour le National Democratic Institute par Nicholas Collinse en partneriat avec EMRHOD Consulting, Tunis. Washington, DC : National Democratic Institute, c2011. [1 electronic text (20 p.) : digital, PDF file].
- Voices of a revolution : conversations with Tunisia's youth : findings from focus groups with young Tunisian men and women conducted March 11 to 24, 2011 / Prepared for the National Democratic Institute by Nicholas Collins in collaboration with EMRHOD Consulting, Tunis.
- A Successful Jewish Return to Tunisia. Gil Shefler. The Wall Street Journal. May 17, 2012.
Audiovisuals & Multimedia
- Chronology of the Tunisian Revolution (Cornell)
- Mohamed Bouazizi
- The interim government after 14 January, 2011
- Influence of Spread of the revolution
- In Tunisia, an 'Explosion of Frustration' in Protests JUDY WOODRUFF: Late today, President Obama condemned and deplored the use of violence against citizens peacefully voicing their opinion in Tunisia. In a statement released by the White House, the president said, "The United States stands witness to the Tunisian people seeking to make their voices heard." He called upon the Tunisian government to hold free and fair elections in the near future. (Also transcript).
- Post-Revolution Tunisia Attempts Painful Transition to Democracy The PBS NewsHour (Feb. 15, 2012) One year after the revolution that sparked the Arab Spring, Tunisia faces ongoing economic and political struggles as it attempts a painful transition to democracy. Jessie Deeter reports, as part of a collaboration with the Pulitzer Center on Crisis Reporting. (Also transcript).
- After Censorship, Tunisian Bookseller Faces Dilemma. National Public Radio®. All Things Considered. June 8, 2012. "The tables have turned for one bookshop owner in Tunis, who had to operate under censorship during the dictatorship of Zine el Abidine Ben Ali. After having to fight for decades to sell the books she wanted, there is now one volume she doesn't particularly want on her shelves. The former dictator's hated wife, Leila Trabelsi, has come out with her version of the facts, called My Truth." Listen to the Story.
- Supporting the challenges of democratic transition in Tunisia: a call for prompt action from the G8 / Rym Ayadi. [PDF, 3 p.] At the G8 meeting in Deauville, May 26-27, the leaders of the world's major economies are called upon in a new CEPS Commentary by Rym Ayadi to make a major commitment to support the Tunisian people's quest for inclusive and sustainable economic and social development, following the Jasmine Revolution early this year.--Publisher description.
- Security sector reform in Tunisia : a year after the Jasmine Revolution / Querine Hanlon. Washington, DC : U.S. Institute of Peace, 2012. The U.S. Institute of Peace Security Sector Governance Center is engaged in a funded study of the prospects for security sector reform in North Africa. In January 2012, Querine Hanlon, Daniel Brumberg, and Robert Perito traveled to Tunisia, Libya, and Egypt. This report is the first in a series of country-focused reports on security sector reform in North Africa.
- Can Tunisia spark a revolutionary wave? / Deborah Jerome. New York, NY : Council on Foreign Relations, January 18, 2011. "The overthrow of Tunisia's government last week in what has been dubbed a Jasmine Revolution has reverberated throughout the region and has left Tunisia itself in a state of political turbulence. In the wake of the ouster of Tunisian President Zine el-Abidine Ben Ali are two questions: Is Tunisia's example likely to spark comparable uprisings across the Arab world? And will democracy take root in Tunisia?"--Web page.
- A Transatlantic Strategy for a Democratic Tunisia - Atlantic Council / by Frances G. Burwell, Amy Hawthorne, Karim Mezran, and Elissa Miller. Jun 1, 2016 (27 pages)