Europe in the World

EUSpring | Citizenship in post-awakening Tunisia: power shifts and conflicting perceptions

7 February 2014
Ahmed Driss (Director, Centre des Etudes Mediterreennes et Internationales, Tunis) and Pietro Longo (External authors)

With the approval of the Constitution at the end of January 2014, Tunisia is the Arab state that has advanced the most in strengthening democratic rights. The Constitution formally enshrines progress in a broad range of rights, from women's rights, political rights, to the formal recognition of social and economic rights. However, tensions between individual and religious rights remain which the Constitution does not definitively resolve. This EUSpring paper by Fadhel Blibech, Ahmed Driss and Pietro Longo examines the debates on democracy and citizenship in Tunisia since 2011, arguing that the positive developments of the Constitutional process should not hide dangers of polarisation between Islamists and secularists.

This paper is published in the framework of the EUSPRING project on Democracy and Citizenship in North Africa after the Arab Awakening: Challenges for EU and US Foreign Policy ( The project is carried out by a consortium of organisations, including the European Policy Centre, University of Warwick in the United Kingdom, The German Marshall Fund of the United States, the Cairo Institute for Human Rights, the Centre for Mediterranean and International Studies in Tunisia and the Centre de Recherche sur l'Afrique et la Méditerranée in Morocco and coordinated by Università degli Studi L’Orientale in Naples. The project is supported by the Compagnia di San Paolo.

In this programme


Programme Team

Head of Europe in the World programme and Senior Fellow

Giovanni Grevi

Researcher in EU energy and climate policy, Institute of European Studies, Free University of Brussels

Marco Giuli

Senior Policy Analysts

Paul Ivan
Amanda Paul

Junior Policy Analyst

Ivano di Carlo