Tunisia’s Institutional Change after the Revolution
Politics, Institutions and Change Agents
The Arab Uprisings started with the Tunisian revolution. These events brought the country to profound change, especially in its institutional asset. Relying on New Institutionalism theory and in particular on the Gradual Change Theory by Mahoney and Thelen, this paper analyses three fundamental dimensions of institutional change in order to establish which type of institutional change has occurred in post-revolution Tunisia. The paper looks at the characteristics of the institutions, the characteristics of the political context and the type of dominant change agent to determine the type of institutional change. In Tunisia, a low level of discretion in the interpretation of norms and rules, weak veto possibilities for the former regime supporters and an insurrection type of dominant change agent have resulted in a so-called “displacement” type of institutional change, where the removal of old rules is accompanied by the introduction of new ones.
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