Tunisia’s Democratic Transition: Consensus Vs. Competition
Among all the Arab spring countries, Tunisia seems to be the only one moving forward towards completing a
successful democratic transition. Undoubtedly, this particular experience of Arab democratization shares with the rest of the
Arab spring countries a number of characteristics, but it also distinguishes itself in many regards. This paper uses Alfred
Stepan’s concept of ‘twin tolerations’ to analyse the Tunisian transition. However, the ‘twin tolerations’ will not be used
here in Stepan’sstrict sense, but in a different context and framework. The ‘twin tolerations’ that this paper tries to develop is
between the revolution and the old regime, rather than between the religious and the political sphere, as initially formulated
by Stepan. Without this continued twin toleration that brought the two sides together since the early days of the revolution,
the Tunisian transition process would have certainly replicated what has happened in other Arab spring countries: Egypt,
Libya and Yemen.
Index Terms- Democratization, Arab Spring, Tunisia, Twin Tolerations, Democratic Transition.