Intermediary bodies and the construction of political democracy in Tunisia.
June 12, 2023. 16h00-18h00 (Berlin Time). Registration: https://forms.gle/A8AJDvdaQyUiG5qD8
In this study, I attempt to take advantage of a broad theoretical-historical review of the development of the concept of ‘intermediary bodies’ and the contexts in which it has been used to address the Tunisian situation between the end of 2010 and 2022. The questions I pose are as follows:
Has the process of building political democracy in Tunisia seen any specific action on the part of any intermediary bodies? If so, how was this action taken? What direction did this action take in relation to the process of building democracy?
The study focuses on Tunisian associations of a professional nature, operating as representative trade unions and presenting themselves as spokespersons for socio-professional categories belonging to the urban middle social strata: the Syndicat National des Journalistes Tunisiens, the Association Tunisienne des Magistrats and the Syndicats des Agents de la Sécurité.
I propose to implement an analytical model that considers the period under study to be :
On the one hand, a moment of social change which has an impact on the positions of the socio-professional categories in question, in terms of a revision of their social conditions on the basis of a general trend towards the achievement of a certain form of social justice and,
On the other hand, a moment of conflicting political change around a possible democratic transition.
The impact of this dual characteristic of the context on the various socio-professional categories mentioned above requires the intermediary bodies which propose to represent them in relation to the construction of the political democracy. This positioning takes the form of (non-)involvement in the process of constructing political democracy, coupled with specific action in relation to the “structural self-adjustment of the respective professions”, on the one hand, and, on the other, to initiate “a process of internal democratisation within the body” itself.
Mounir Saidani is Research Fellow at CERES Tunis (Centre des Etudes Economiques et Sociales). Among his publications: “Revolution and Counterrevolution in Tunisia: The Forty Days That Shook the Country” (Boundary, 2012); “The University Teacher’s Trade Union in Tunisia” (Omran, 2015).