Tunisia's Vital Election: Democratic Consolidation in a Divided Society



Daniel Brumberg, Georgetown University

Date and Time

October 7, 2019 12:00 PM - 1:30 PM



RSVP required by 5PM October 04.


William J. Perry Conference Room
Encina Hall, Second Floor, Central, C231
616 Jane Stanford Way, Stanford, CA 94305


This lecture will consider the challenge of moving from a negotiated transition to a consolidated democracy as exemplified by the case critical of Tunisia. The country's upcoming presidential and parliamentary elections, to be held respectively in September and October 2019, will provide a vital although not easy opportunity to move beyond the power sharing, consensus-based political pact negotiated in 2014, to a more consolidated democracy, one which presumably will be led by a government representing a clear majority. The shift from a cooperative, positive sum model of governance to a zero sum, non-cooperative model faces many obstacles, including the enduring Islamist/secular divide, as well as still socio-economic significant cleavage pitting advocates of state intervention and social welfare against advocates of free market reforms. The upcoming elections might provide an incentive for new ruling and opposition coalitions that would facilitate the efforts of leaders to address these challenges, or the elections could exacerbate cleavages in ways that might invite a return to the immobilizing politics of consensus. Professor Brumberg will map out these different scenarios, particularly with reference to the results of the September 15 presidential elections. His will then discuss the implications of these elections for the October 6, parliamentary elections, whose results should be just surfacing on the day of this lecture.



Daniel Brumberg is an Associate Professor of Government at Georgetown University, where he also serves as the Director of Democracy and Governance Studies MA Program. He is a Senior Non-Resident Fellow at the Arab Center in Washington, DC and at the Project on Middle East Democracy (POMED). From 2008 through 2015 he also served as a Special Adviser at the United States Institute of Peace. In addition to his position at Georgetown, he has served as Visiting Professor of Kuwait-Gulf Studies at Sciences Po in Paris and continues to serve as a faculty member for the St.Martin-Georgetown University Program in Public Policy in Buenos Aires. Prior to coming to Georgetown University he was a Visiting Professor in the Department of Political Science at Emory University, a Visiting Fellow in the Middle East Program in the Jimmy Carter Center, and a Lecturer at the University of Chicago's Social Science Masters Program. Brumberg has published articles on political, social and economic change in the Middle East and wider Muslim World. His articles have appeared in leading print and on-line journals including The Journal of Democracyforeignpolicy.com and theatlantic.com. His books include Reinventing Khomeini: The Struggle for Reform in Iran, (University of Chicago Press) and Conflict, Identity, and Reform in the Muslim World, Challenges for US Engagement (USIP Press), co-edited with Dinah Shehata, and most recently, Power and Political Change in Iran co-edited with Farideh Farhi and published by Indiana University Press. Brumberg has served as a consultant to the US Department of State and the United States Agency for International Development focusing on human rights, security sector reform, and governance issues in the Arab world. He has lived or conducted field research in France, Morocco, Tunisia, Egypt, Israel, Kuwait, and Indonesia. He speaks French and Arabic.

Share this Event