Tunisia Today: Historical Statebuilding Processes as Predictors of Post-Arab Spring Success

Tunisia’s post-Arab Spring development has been punctuated by a series of promising successes. Last spring, the BBC couched the nation’s recent passing of electoral law as “one of the last steps towards the country becoming a full democracy,” three years after the May 2011 uprising that forced President Zine al-Abidine Ben Ali into exile.[1] This electoral law includes date-setting procedures for presidential and legislative polling as well as stipulations regarding gender balancing in party lists; tellingly, it does not impose restrictions on officials that served in the Ben Ali regime.[2] Each of these legislative components seems to foreshadow what will eventually become a stable, institutionalized electoral process.

This initiative within Tunisia’s interim parliament is the most recent link in a chain of what many regional scholars deem promising moves towards democracy. At the close of 2013, hope and warning coexisted. Democratic elections in the fall of 2011 had produced a secular state governed by a moderate Islamist party, and the nation seemed eager to both form a new constitution and include women in the process. However, success has been tempered by cautious realism; when democratically-elected Ennahda was pressured by secular groups to relinquish its power last September, political science truism was confirmed: “it seems to be difficult for a country to [institute] democracy [where there is] an authoritarian heritage.”[3], [4] And yet, after an arduous two-year drafting process accompanied by “high unemployment, protests, terrorist attacks, and political assassinations,” in January 2014 the nation found itself with a compromise: a civil constitution that is separate from Islamic law and “dedicated to protecting citizens’ rights, including protection from torture, the right to due process, and freedom of worship,” as well as a “commitment…to protect women’s rights.”[5] Elections, too, are on the horizon; both presidential and primary votes are slated for late November 2014, and will mark “the country’s final step towards full democracy.”[6]

Why is Tunisia earning rapid scholarly recognition as the best (if not the only) case of post-Arab Spring success? Among the nations which forced leaders out of power in 2011—Tunisia, Egypt, Libya, and Yemen—it is relatively simple to identify similarities in causal characteristics: in terms of structural factors like state repression and stratified economic resources, as well as by the presence of spontaneous political demonstrations and the unifying power of social media.[7] Yet, an analysis that merely discusses the similarities between Arab Spring nations cannot explain their varied trajectories after the spring of 2011, nor can it comment on the distinct conditions in which they find themselves today.

To understand Tunisia’s success—i.e. its stability and progression towards a democratic state—one must examine its political history: its legacy of French colonialism, its authoritarian state-building under highly personable leaders Habib Bourguiba and Ben Ali, and its institutions—political, economic, and military. This paper will first provide a brief overview of historical state-building in Tunisia, from its colonial era to the events of the Arab Spring. Next, it will argue that five central factors rooted in historical state-building processes that are integral to an understanding of Tunisia’s current political landscape and its relative success in forming a democratic state. These factors are as follows: 1) ethnic and religious homogeneity; 2) strong institutions produced by France’s relatively light engagement during the colonial period and by the regimes of previous leaders Bourguiba and Ben Ali; 3) a military distinct from the state apparatus; 4) economic prosperity (a relatively high GDP); and 5) a history of moderate Islam in dialogue with a secular state, dialogue that has resulted in collective acceptance of democracy and the merits of electorally-gained power. The paper will conclude with an analysis of the present day challenges that may impede Tunisian democracy as well as the democratic advantages that the nation possesses. 

The History of Tunisian Statebuilding: A Brief Overview

Tunisia was a French protectorate from 1881 until its independence in 1956. France maintained control over Tunisia’s foreign and defense policy, collected taxes, and protected it from other European powers, but ultimately Tunisians were allowed to maintain their courts, citizenship, schools, and guilds (coalitions of artists and merchants that preceded labor unions). The Tunisian government and army maintained authority over domestic matters but were subject to French advising and approval regarding major decisions.[8]

After a successful bid for independence in 1956, characterized by the nationalistic Neo-Destour party’s strikes, boycotts, and demonstrations, Tunisia adopted a single-party regime presided over by Habib Bourguiba.[9] A prolonged period of regime opposition from the late 1960s to the mid-1980s culminated in November 1987, when Zine al-Abidine Ben Ali seized power from the ailing Bourguiba in a bloodless coup. Intentionally designed to avoid civil war between Bourguiba’s secular government and mobilizing Islamist groups, this coup also served to quench labor unrest.[10]

Under Ben Ali, economic growth and liberalization were coupled with increased social inequality. Further, elections appeared meaningless amidst speculation that Ben Ali’s relatives would eventually succeed to the presidency. Although the authoritarian regime had been sufficiently entrenched by means of false multipartyism and a system of privatized economic patronage, indignant citizens cited this same economic inequality, cronyism, and corruption as rallying points for discontent.

It took flagrant political demonstration to channel these frustrations into uprising. On December 17, 2011, fruit vendor Mohammed Bouazizi set himself on fire in a public square in Ben Arous to protest police harassment. Riots spread from rural towns to Tunis, with lawyers and other professionals, civil society groups, and trade unions increasingly supporting the rebellion. On January 14, 2011, Ben Ali fled his country for exile in Saudi Arabia, and a temporary government was instated under Prime Minister Mohamed Ghannouchi.[11] Another wave of strikes and street battles served as the final impetus for complete political change, leading to Ghannouchi’s resignation on February 27, 2011. Fortunately, this surrender was followed by a period of relative peace.[12]

It is the period following Ben Ali’s ousting that this paper will address—a period with significant complications but also three years rife with promising democratic successes. These successes, relative to other nations involved in the Arab Spring, can be examined and understood by means of the uniquely Tunisian state-building that precedes them.

Homogeneity and Nationalism: A People United

Tunisia is a small country with an overwhelmingly homogenous population; of its 10 million inhabitants, 98 percent are Arabic-speaking Sunni Muslims.[13] Eva Bellin argues that when it comes to post-Arab Spring rebuilding, Tunisia is inherently “bless[ed]…in socio-cultural terms…national unity — or at least some sense of common solidarity — is an essential underpinning of democracy.”[14] According to Lauth and Kneip, “the increasing heterogenisation of democratic societies seems to be the most apparent internal challenge to modern democracies,” complicating the “political inclusion of heterogeneous groups into the political system, the equal application of political rights, and the equal granting of civil rights.” Simply put, when ethnic, religious, or linguistic divisions of identity are largely nonexistent, democratization is easier. Although democratic systems can avoid problems of plurality through rights-based mechanisms, fledgling democracies are still institutionalizing such procedures.[15] For post-2011 Tunisia, natural homogeneity proves a significant advantage in creating stable electoral law and systems of representation; the “divisions over identity that might prove insurmountable to other democratic aspirants do not hobble Tunisia.”[16] This homogeneity can be credited both to Tunisia’s small size and to its history of territorial boundary drawing.

Historical State-building: Non-Intervention and Institutionalization.

Post-Arab Spring Tunisia remains a strong state with relatively professionalized and meritocratic institutions; it owes this foundational institutionalization to a history of statebuilding and nationalistic identity formation that enables its present-day progress towards democracy.[17] It is difficult to overstate the crucial nature of organizational, managerial, and political institutions in creating strong states. However, outside powers which attempt to install these institutions illegitimately and outside of cultural norms face “grave limitations…to the ability…to create demand…and therefore limitations on the ability to transfer existing knowledge about institutional construction and reform to developing countries.”[18] Fortuitously, domestic institutionalization in Tunisia has been, from its colonial days, a largely organic process.

Differing from the prototypical story of European colonialism, the French presence in Tunisia did not result in weakened national institutions co-opted and controlled by outside bureaucrats. French interests in Tunisia were surface-level. While France did not want another European power to control its territory, it was uninterested in creating a settler colony like the one in Algeria, and Tunisia had few natural resources to exploit. Thus, while the French maintained “ultimate power” in Tunisia, controlling foreign and defense policy and approving loans through resident ministers, the Tunisian bey (monarch) still exercised broad authority within his nation. This resulted not only in domestically based institutions — educational systems, courts, and a national military — but also in the centralization that would eventually characterize the authoritarian state. Because Tunisia “avoided the profound disruption of its central governing institutions,” its eventual independent government did “not have to create a whole new order atop the rubble of the old one;” this pattern of enduring institutionalization in the face of new systems of governance would repeat itself decades later in the spring of 2011.[19]

These enduring institutions are largely due to the regimes of Tunisia’s two authoritarian leaders, Habib Bourguiba (1959-1987) and Zine al-Abidine Ben Ali (1989-2011). In 1956, after leading the nationalistic Neo-Destour party in a successful bid for independence, Bourguiba instated a highly centralized authoritarian regime that would endure, with only one rotation of power, for over fifty years. Although unified by Bourguiba’s own cult of personality, the regime still managed to successfully liberalize, secularize, and institutionalize multiple aspects of the Tunisian state. This “Bourguiba-driven program” included “a major effort in implementing a national educational system at all levels, specific steps to narrow the dramatic gap between the rich and poor parts of Tunisia…[and] the justly famous Personal Status Law of 1956…[which] in general, instituted a social revolution in the direction of women’s liberation.”[20]

This tradition of effective state-building continued through the regime change; at the beginning of the 1990s, Tunisia’s new leader Ben Ali was praised for his championship of pluralistic democracy through the establishment of municipal competitive, nonviolent elections, as well as the restoration of professional organizations. While contemporaneous scholar I. William Zartman noted flaws in the established institutions, explaining that democracy would not come to Tunisia until true competition for the presidency existed, there was still widespread trust in the promise of eventual democratic reform in Tunisia, as illustrated by steady patterns of constitutional reform, systematized election processes, and civic organization.[21]

Of course, Tunisia’s state-building history has never guaranteed a completely seamless democratic transition. Both Bourguiba and Ben Ali consistently coopted, exploited, and destroyed valid institutions for individualistic political gain. Bourguiba’s regime took control of its former union ally, the Tunisian General Labor Union, crippling the union’s ability to represent workers. It also instated a sham constitution that merely provided arbitrary liberty protection according to “‘the dispositions of the law.’”[22] Throughout his presidency, Ben Ali took drastic steps to dismantle non-Constitutional Democratic Rally (RDC) political parties, women’s rights groups and other non-governmental organizations, the Islamic party Ennahda, and professional unions, weakening the nation’s organizational landscape and incapacitating forums for political dissent through jailing and exiling.[23] And yet, while the institutions created and expanded by Tunisia’s authoritarian leaders may not have been inherently ripe for democracy, they have proved adequately robust (and in cases like the military, adequately distinct from the regime) to allow for democratic adaptation rather than chaos and collapse. Ben Ali’s self-serving reforms had indeed begun to “undermin[e] the legitimacy of Tunisian institutions and the substantive meaning of rule of law;” however, when the president was removed, these institutions regained strength and were reformed. As Clement Henry writes, “[c]ut off the head and then the cancer, directly infecting some 113 individuals, is curable with further judicial surgery;” the state bureaucracy remained intact and workable after the removal of crony networks and entrenched systems of elite patronage.[24]

The Tunisian Military: Autonomy and Character

The nature of a state’s coercive military apparatus played a vital role in the revolution as well as in its aftermath. The military’s institutional character, i.e. its willingness to use force against citizenry and its degree of loyalty to the existing regime, determined whether it would mobilize to protect a challenged state or align itself with demands of the citizenry.[25] To the benefit of the 2011 uprising and the democratic advances that followed, Tunisia’s military has consistently maintained an autonomous nature, reluctant to engage in mass repression and eager to uphold its own central interest—reputation maintenance—among the populace.[26]

Tunisian military character is most effectively explained through its historical relationship to preexisting regimes. Both Bourguiba and Ben Ali strove to maintain distance from the military, marginalizing officers and limiting its access to funding. The Tunisian military found itself on the “periphery of politics,” continuing a “long-standing historical role of acting as an apparatus of the state with limited responsibilities and without a daily role in the regular management of the regime.”[27] Thus, the Tunisian military establishment, foreign to combat and superseded by the military intelligence and police forces, had few ties to the Ben Ali regime; in fact, it benefited from the regime’s expulsion.[28]

Perhaps surprisingly, the Tunisian military’s limited scope has persevered in the post-Arab Spring era, easing the state’s democratic transition by refusing to instate military rule. Military doctrine remains focused on external enemies, and is reluctant to violently seize power against the populace.[29]

Economic Prosperity and Democratic Transitions

Tunisia entered the spring of 2011 with a robust GDP and decades of economic growth under its belt; “[of] the non-oil states its per capita income was second only to Lebanon’s,” and “[p]rudent economic management had generated the highest per capita wealth growth rate since 1987.”[30] Ironically, this prosperity contributed both to Ben Ali’s downfall and to the nation’s subsequent ability to build a democracy on its institutional foundations.

Although neither economic success nor income inequality had substantially worsened in the years leading up to the Arab Spring, Tunisian dissatisfaction with corruption and cronyism at the highest levels of government was crippling.[31] Education’s ubiquity had outpaced the Ben Ali regime’s ability to claim legitimacy; high literacy rates produced greater Internet connectivity and access to social media outlets. Ultimately, this cocktail of infuriatingly stratified wealth, 50 percent unemployment among the highly educated, and dense social networking provided both the motives and methods for rebellion.[32]

It is not particularly significant that Tunisia’s economic frustrations produced social uprising— this was to be expected— but instead, it is noteworthy that Tunisia’s high GDP has aided its present progression towards democracy. Preexisting literature establishes a strong correlation between GDP per capita and the viability of electoral democracy; however, reasons for this trend remain unclear, delineated as a blend of higher literacy rates, greater economic flexibility that enables compromise, and a larger middle class. Regardless of exact causation, Eva Bellin, a scholar of Arab politics, argues that Tunisia’s per capita GDP is positively affecting its shift towards democracy, stating that while “income level does not make enduring democracy a statistically ‘sure thing’ in Tunisia, it nonetheless puts this political ambition in the realm of reasonable possibility.”[33] When Ben Ali’s authoritarian regime toppled, Tunisia was able to retain its high GDP, consistent with democracy, while removing the elite patronage system that had caused deep popular dissatisfaction.

Today, the nation grapples with decisions regarding Tunisia’s future economic policy; any new redistributive policies will require political debate and fiscal restructuring, and policymakers must be wary of the economic losses in investment and tourism caused by prolonged national instability.[34] In the fall of 2011, a roundtable of businessmen from the Tunisian-British Chamber of Commerce identified the employment of university graduates, microfinance, and start-up development as major goals for the nation in the years ahead.[35] In the fall of 2013, troubled by economic slump, Tunisia’s donors — including the World Bank, the African Development Bank, and the European Union — urged an overhaul of restrictive and exploitative trade, business, banking, and investment laws still lingering from Ben Ali’s regime.[36] Currently, Tunisia’s labor force suffers from 17.2 percent unemployment, exceeding 40 percent among youth, and its bureaucracy is burdened with a deficit of almost $7.5 billion.[37] Even in the wake of promising reforms this winter, Tunisia might be “heading towards crisis if its economy continues to falter,” especially if governmental priorities “shift from organizing elections to concentrating on economic reforms, which can in turn jeopardize the democratic transition;” clearly, all influential factors regarding Tunisia’s potential for democratic success are inextricably interwoven.[38] In spite of this, Tunisia’s relatively high GDP, fostered by a history of economic openness, has and will continue to smooth the nation’s attempted democratic transition, even if it does not ensure success.

Islam and the State: Everything in Moderation

In the summer of 2013, Egypt’s military staged a coup that resulted in the ousting of Muslim Brotherhood leader Mohamed Morsi. In contrast, the Tunisian Islamist party Ennahda appointed a technocratic cabinet in an attempt to appease opposition forces;[39] in September 2013, Ennahda agreed to hand over power to a non-party government, conceding to the demands of street protesters enraged by recent secular political assassinations and the struggling economy. Of course, Ennahda’s motives are not entirely egalitarian; its Minister of the Interior was allowed to keep his portfolio in the new government and, in next November’s elections, the party will be able to use its peaceful relinquishment as proof that it values the voice of the nation over petty party politics. However, it remains remarkable that such controversial turnover could be followed by the compromise necessary to produce a constitution and electoral law. En masse, Tunisia’s ability to manage the pluralistic requests of Islamist and secular groups has greatly aided its democratic transition.[40] [41]

This successful compromise and interest brokerage is rooted in Tunisia’s statebuilding history: in this case, a history of pluralistic collaboration. Under Ben Ali’s regime, Ennahda remained extremely open to long-term cooperation with RCD and remained committed to operation as a legal party within an electoral framework, notwithstanding its ban from the political process.[42] This willingness continued after Arab Spring activity; in 2012, parties came together in in a successful nonviolent National Dialogue lauded on both local and international levels.[43]

Ennahda itself has managed to create a brand of moderate political Islam that emanates pragmatism and the potential for longevity even within a secular Arab state. Willing to shelve its more rigid views on women’s status, sharia, and blasphemy, Ennahda has approached the political process enthusiastically, hoping that democratically gaining power and influence will naturally imbue Tunisian society with Islamic values without the need for forceful or controversial reforms.[44]

Naturally, pluralism has not been an easy task for the fledgling Tunisian democracy. When Ennahda won more than 41 percent of the vote in October 2011, violent protests broke out in Sidi Bouzid, reflecting the secular nation’s fear of Islamist power in its liberal Arab country. While Ennahda did agree to step down last September, one cannot avoid the frightening reality that a democratically-elected party was forced from office in the dangerous wake of possible civil war; discourse on nationalism, secularism, and democracy has clashed with Ennahda’s pan-Islamism and theocratic ideology ever since it gained power.[45] However, as long as Tunisia—and more specifically, Ennahda—can continue to champion and sustain the “inclusive ethos of the country’s transition” and of its past, continued pluralistic dialogue and bargaining will only increase its chances of successful democratic transition.[46]

Conclusion

Democracy is no surety for Tunisia. Political instability last summer produced Tunisians pessimistic about democracy, the economy, and their leaders.[47] An ethnically homogenous populace does not guarantee politically homogenous viewpoints, institutions produced in authoritarian regimes are not automatically compatible with democratic structures, and a high GDP does not prevent the continued stratification of wealth, the presence of corruption, or the weight of unemployment. Economic downturn and a widespread “identity conflict” about the nature of this new democracy will prove challenging in the months to come, particularly with an election on the horizon.[48] However, while neither Tunisia’s homogeneity, history of strong statebuilding, military character, economic prosperity, or moderate political Islam can provide guarantees for a democratic future, these factors do provide two boons worth possessing: a foundation, and hope.

Kate Massinger (’16) attends Harvard University.

 

 

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[1] “Tunisian assembly approves electoral law,” BBC NEWS Africa, May 1 2014, Accessed May 7 2014, <http://www.bbc.com/news/world-africa-27246282 >. ,

[2] Ibid.

[3]Basak Akar Yüksel, and Yilmaz Bingöl, “The Arab Spring in Tunisia: A Liberal Democratic Transition?” Electronic Journal of Social Sciences 12.4 (2013): 310-327, accessed May 7, 2014.

[4] Carlotta Gall, “Islamist Party in Tunisia to Step Down,” The New York Times, September 28, 2013. Accessed May 7 2014, <http://www.nytimes.com/2013/09/29/world/africa/islamist-party-in-tunisia-to-step-down.html?_r=0>.

[5] Associated Press in Tunisia, “Tunisia signs new constitution,” The Guardian, January 27, 2014, accessed May 7 2014, <http://www.theguardian.com/world/2014/jan/27/tunisia-signs-new-constitution-progressive>.

[6] Tarek Amara, “Tunisia elections probably to be held in November: election chief,” Reuters, May 3, 2014, accessed May 9, 2014, <http://www.reuters.com/article/2014/05/03/us-tunisia-election-idUSBREA4205N20140503>.

[7] Kamal Eldin, Osman Salih, “The Roots and Causes of the 2011 Arab Uprisings,” Arab Studies Quarterly 35.2 (2013): 184-206, accessed May 7, 2014.

[8] Christopher Alexander, Tunisia: stability and reform in the modern Maghreb (Oxon: Routledge, 2010).

[9] Jonathan G., Farley, “Tunisia – forty years on from independence,” Contemporary Review 270 (1997): 125, accessed 9 May 2014.

[10] Alexander, Tunisia, 37-41.

[11] Rex Breynen, Pete W. Moore, Bassel F. Salloukh, and Marie-Joëlle Zahar, Beyond the Arab Spring: Authoritarianism & Democratization in the Arab World (Boulder, CO: Lynne Rienner Publishers, Inc., 2012).

[12] “The Second Republic, Or the Third Conflict Cycle?” Institut Arabe des Chefs d Entreprise, April 30, 2014, accessed May 10, 2014, <http://www.iace.tn/?p=3897&lang=en>.

[13] Alexander, Tunisia, 1.

[14] Eva Bellin, “A Modest Transformation: Political Change in the Arab World After the Arab Spring,” in The Arab Spring: Will it Lead to Democratic Transitions?, ed. by Clement Henry & Jang Ji-Hyang (New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2012), 34-48.

[15] Hans-Joachim Lauth, and Sascha Kneip, “Heterogeneity and Democracy Reconsidered,” Comparative Sociology 11 (2012): 291-303, accessed May 8, 2014.

[16] Bellin, “A Modest Transformation,” 38.

[17] Ibid.

[18] Francis Fukuyama, State-building: governance and world order in the 21st century (Ithaca, NY: Cornell University Press, 2004).

[19] Alexander, Tunisia, 20-34.

[20] L. Carl Brown, “Bourguiba and Bourguibism Revisited: Reflections and Interpretation,” Middle East Journal 55.1 (2001): 43-57, accessed May 8, 2014.

[21] I. William Zartman, “The Conduct of Political Reform: The Path Toward Democracy,” in Tunisia: The Political Economy of Reform, ed. by I. William Zartman, (Boulder, CO: Lynne Rienner Publishers, Inc., 1999), 9-28.

[22] Anderson, Tunisia, 40-41.

[23] Dafna Hochman Rand, Roots of the Arab Spring (Philadelphia, PA: University of Pennsylvania Press, 2013).

24 Clement Henry, “Political Economies of Transition.” in The Arab Spring: Will It Lead To Democratic Transitions?, ed. by Clement Henry & Jang Ji-Hyang, (New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2012), 54-75.

[25] Eva Bellin, “Reconsidering the Robustness of Authoritarianism in the Middle East,” Comparative Politics 44.2 (2012): 127-149, accessed May 9, 2014.

[26] Brynen et al., Beyond the Arab Spring, 37.

[27] Risa Brooks, “Abandoned at the Palace: Why the Tunisian Military Defected from the Ben Ali Regime in January 2011,” Journal of Strategic Studies 36.2 (2013): 205-220, accessed May 9, 2014.

[28] Lisa Anderson, “‘Early Adopters’ and ‘Neighborhood Effects,’” in The Arab Spring: Will it Lead to Democratic Transitions?, ed. by Clement Henry & Jang Ji-Hyang, (New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2012), 28-32.

[29] Hauge Wenche, “When Peace Prevails: The Management of Political Crises in Ecuador, Madagascar, Tunisia, and Venezuela,” Alternatives: Global, Local, Political 35.4 (2010): 469-493, accessed May 9, 2014.

[30] Henry, “Political Economies,” 64.

[31] Brynen et al, Beyond the Arab Spring, 36.

[32] Henry, “Political Economies,” 66.

[33] Bellin, “A Modest Transformation,” 38-39.

[34] Brynen et al., Beyond the Arab Spring,21.

[35] “What future for Tunisia’s economy?” Middle East 426 (2011): 48-51, accessed May 8, 2014.

[36] John Thorne, “Why does democracy have a shot in Tunisia? Less money,” Christian Science Monitor, September 26, 2013, accessed May 9, 2014, <http://www.csmonitor.com/World/Middle-East/2013/0926/Why-does-democracy-have-a-shot-in-Tunisia-Less-money>.

[37] “The Second Republic, or the Third Cycle Conflict?”, 2014.

[38] Ibid.

[39] Richard Youngs, “From Transformation to Mediation: The Arab Spring Reframed,” Carnegie Europe, March 20, 2014, accessed May 10, 2014, <http://carnegieeurope.eu/2014/03/20/from-transformation-to-mediation-arab-spring-reframed/h4x4>.

[40] “Transition in Tunisia: A success story?”, 2014.

[41] “The Second Republic, or the Third Cycle Conflict?”.

[42] Anderson, Tunisia, 57.

[43] “The Second Republic, or the Third Cycle Conflict?”.

[44]Monica L. Marks, “Convince, Coerce, or Compromise? Ennahda’s Approach to Tunisia’s Constitution,” Brookings Doha Center Publications 30 (2014), accessed May 10, 2014.

[45] “The Second Republic, or the Third Cycle Conflict?”.

[46] Youngs, “From Transformation to Mediation,” 2014.

[47] Thorne, “Why does democracy have a shot?”, 2013.

[48] “The Second Republic, or the Third Cycle Conflict?”.

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