Faculty Advisor

O'Neil, Patrick

Area of Study

Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences

Publication Date

Summer 2011


This report is the summation of research in Tunisia during the summer of 2011, just after the Jasmine Revolution of January. It seeks to identify the causal factors that have hindered or helped the success of the transition process, and to orient them in the wider literature on democratic transitions, as well as provide further ideas for research regarding the Arab Spring. Initially, the Tunisian political process suffered extensively from problems determined by the structure of the previous regime, such as elite polarization, crises of legitimacy, and popular mistrust/disillusionment. Recently, however, Tunisian society has taken steps in overcoming these problems, adapting quicker than most literature predicts. The recent trends may suggest that a diffusion of political experience, enabled by international connections and social media, may have played an important role in contributing to the success of democratic transition int Tunisia.


University of Puget Sound