This book gives a concise yet comprehensive overview of Tunisia's political and economic development from the mid-nineteenth century to the present. Written specifically for a non-specialist audience, the book examines the factors that make Tunisia one of the Arab world's most stable and prosperous countries and one of its hardiest authoritarian orders. The author explores these themes in a way that sheds light on the political dynamics of the broader Arabic-speaking, Muslim world. Christopher Alexander draws on extensive primary and secondary research and on comparison with other countries in the region to provide the most up-to-date introduction to Tunisia's post-independence politics. Challenging the notion that Tunisia's stability is rooted in a unique political culture, he argues that Tunisia's stability reflects the pragmatic interests of a wide range of actors and the skillful maneuvering of the country's two presidents.
Concisely written chapters cover topics such as: state formation domestic politics economic development foreign relations colonialism An essential inclusion on courses on Middle Eastern politics, African politics, and political science in general, this accessible introduction to Tunisia will also be of interest to anyone wishing to learn more about this significant region.
Christopher Alexander is the John and Ruth McGee Director of the Dean Rusk International Studies Program at Davidson College, North Carolina, USA. He also teaches courses in International Relations and Middle East Politics in Davidson's Department of Political Science.