The Policies of En-Nahdha Movement and its Impact on the Democratization in Tunisia 2010-2015

Discussion Committee: 
Dr. Saqer Jabali/supervisor
Dr. Abdel Rahman Haj Ebraheem/external examiner
Dr. Othman Othman/internal examiner
Dr. Saqer Jabali/supervisor
Mahmoud Saleem Hashem Shobaki
This study aimed at discussing the various policies of En-Nahdha Movement and its impact on the Democratization in Tunisia between 2010 and 2015 due to the many significant events that took place in that period. These events had affected Tunisia, in general, and En-Nahdha Movement, in specific, and others major events especially the Tunisian Revolution which broke out on 17th December, 2010 which led to the ousting of the ex president Zine El Abidine Ben Ali and En-Nahdha Movement winning the National Constituent Assembly elections of 2011. Consequently, the party rose to power together with its allies during the transitional phase. The thesis was based on a group of previous studies and relevant literature concerning the Tunisian scene after the revolution namely the practices of En-Nahdha Movement before and after the revolution until it ascended to the throne and the way it affected the Democratization in the country. The researcher tried to answer two main questions 1) What were the various policies and practices that En-nahdha Movement adopted and applied in Tunisia after the revolution of December 2010? 2) How did those policies affect the Democratization in Tunisia until 2015? The main hypothesis of the study was that the En-Nahdha Movement had played a vital role in the Democratization in Tunisia after the 2010 revolution. To achieve his aim and identify the role of the En-Nahdha Movement, the researcher adopted the analytical-descriptive approach alongside the historical approach to trace the development stages of the movement and its ideological trends and foundations that helped it rise to power in Tunisia. Furthermore, the researcher used the systematic approach to identify the various local, regional and international challenges that the movement had faced when it took control of the Tunisian political scene as well as the way it responded to them. This thesis included five chapters. The first chapter introduced the statement of the problem, the significance of the study, the main objectives of the study, the study questions and hypotheses, and the study design as well as the different approaches the researcher used to achieve his goals. In the second chapter, the researcher traced the developmental stages of the En-Nahdha Movement as well as its ideological and political speech. The researcher also highlighted the organizational structure of the movement, its means and strategies, its objectives, the factors that led to its prominence and development, and the various stages it went through. The researcher divided its developmental stages into four phases and highlighted the different features of each phase. At the end of the chapter, the researcher shed some light on the movement's political and ideological speech and its position towards democracy, secularism, pluralism, violence, and finally women's status and their political involvement. Democratization was thoroughly discussed in chapter three. The researcher defined Democratization and how it is related to and connected with concepts of democratic transition and liberalism, political reformation, the political approaches that explain Democratization. Finally, the researcher listed the various factors that lead to Democratization, its mechanisms, stages, challenges, features and indicators. The different policies of the En-Nahdha Movement and its impact on Democratization in Tunisia were detailed in chapter four. The researcher started by listing the main factors that led to the Tunisian revolution at the end of 2010, the role of the En-Nahdha Movement in that revolution, how and when it ascended to the throne and rose to power, its reactions to the drafting of the constitution, its role in passing a set of basic laws in the country, the extent of support for the concepts of political pluralism, political participation, rotation of powers and national consensus. The En-nahdha Movement was devoted to political partnership by creating a coalition of the troika with secular parties; it was the first coalition participatory government in the history of Tunisia. The movement also contributed to the success of the Tunisian national dialogue as a result of its flexibility especially when it renounced power, inclined to dialogue, renounced political seclusion, allowed political and ideological tolerance, and offered a number of political concessions related to drafting the constitution, the shape of the political system, women's position and their rights. The chapter ended with highlighting the movement's relationships with other parties of the parliament and how they settled a legal systematic body that guarantees and supports democratic transition. In the last chapter, the researcher identified the main internal and external challenges that faced the En-Nahdha Movement after it rose to power in the wake of the Tunisian revolution. The internal difficulties were mostly subjective and objective and included internal disputes, transition from clandestine secret work to public work, the separation between the state and the religion, its willingness to ascending to power, and the way it resisted counter revolutions and economic, developmental and security challenges. The external challenges ranged from its relations with external powers and countries including the USA, the EU, and Turkey as well as some external difficulties that neighboring countries imposed on it including the political and security status in Egypt, Algeria, and Libya. The study found that the En-Nahdha Movement managed to lay the foundations political pluralism and partnership as a crucial indicator for Democratization; it also contributed to the success of national dialogue in Tunisia; it helped to impose legal consensus over electoral consensus; it expressed intellectual and ideological tolerance towards other parties. The movement was also flexible towards many topics and it played significant roles in enacting and passing a set of basic laws that led to Democratization. Finally, the movement faced a number of challenges that ranged from political to economical, social and security. In the light of these results, the researcher recommended that the En-Nahdha Movement should renew its organizational structure, involve the youth in its leadership groups and bodies, take into account internal unity and consensus among its leading figures, formulate a unified organizational and structural policy, and continue to participate in Democratization alongside its political partners and Tunisian politicians and analysts to face any political, economic, social, and security challenges that still face Tunisia.
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