Sarah J. Feuer

Ph.D. Candidate in Politics at the Crown Center for Middle East Studies, Brandeis University



Islam and Democracy in Practice: Tunisia’s Ennahdha Nine Months In

Tunisia elections

Sarah J. Feuer
Middle East Brief 66, September 2012


For years, Middle East specialists have debated the compatibility of Islamist politics and democracy in the Arab world. In Tunisia, the small country that sparked the Arab Spring, the victory of the Islamist Ennahdha party in last year’s parliamentary election has created an opportunity to examine the relationship between Islam and democracy in practice. In this Brief, Sarah J. Feuer analyzes Ennahdha’s governance in relation to three major political pressures acting on the party. She argues that while Ennahdha has demonstrated a commitment to democratic principles such as broad participation in elections and the separation of powers, the party has also pursued policies that would restrict individual rights.     

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