The primacy of political security: contentious politics and insecurity in the Tunisian revolution

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JournalDemocratization
DateAccepted/In press - 21 Jul 2014
DatePublished (current) - 12 Sep 2014
Issue number7
Volume22
Number of pages21
Pages (from-to)1209-1229
Original languageEnglish

Abstract

The removal of Ben Ali's regime in Tunisia signalled the start of the Arab Spring. The abrupt nature of the regime change raises questions about why it happened in the way it did. This article examines the contextual factors that precipitated the regime change through the lens of political security. The aim is to examine how political insecurity in society led to the emergence of opposition sufficiently organized to unseat Ben Ali. The paper develops a framework to consider how the loss of legitimacy by the regime opened the space for opposition. Attempts to restrict opposition failed to address underlying claims, leaving the way open for the opposition to unite following the self-immolation of Mohammed Bouazizi.

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© 2014 Taylor & Francis. This is an author-produced version of the published paper. Uploaded in accordance with the publisher’s self-archiving policy. Further copying may not be permitted; contact the publisher for details.

    Research areas

  • Political Security, Legitimacy, Protest, State Capacity, Tunisia

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