Civil society and democratic framing in Tunisia. How democracy is framed and its influence on the state.


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PhD thesis: a PhD thesis.
Civil society and democratic framing in Tunisia. How democracy is framed and its influence on the state.
Refle Jan-Erik
Passy Florence
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Université de Lausanne, Faculté des sciences sociales et politiques
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The sudden end of the Ben Ali regime in January 2011 led to a change towards a democratic political system in Tunisia. While researchers acknowledge the importance of social movements for the initial protests, there is no systematic proof of civil society influence on the Tunisian state. The thesis takes this blind spot and looks at the mechanisms by which civil society can have ideational influence. As the role of civil society for democracy and democratization is often discussed, the thesis asks how organizations perceive democracy and whether they diffuse a democratic framing towards the state. Organizational networks are analyzed to see who works with whom and which ministries are approached. These ministries are then asked on their networks to verify the connection between organizations and ministries. Afterwards the democratic framing of organizations and ministries is compared to see whether more interaction causes similar framing. Finally, the results of the analysis show mechanisms that influence framing and wider policies. Different possibilities for influence, be it direct effects or mediated indirect effects via the media, organizational or coalitional influence orient the thesis. The research is based on interviews with movement leaders and higher-level civil servants in ministries as well as organizational documents and media analysis. The research shows very specific influence, oriented towards concrete ministries. Personal contacts as well as institutionalized integration are useful to realize demands. The most effective interactions to promote a democratic framing exist between the Women Movement and the Ministry of Women and Family. Other interactions are found on a continuum between very restricted to no interaction and more intense interactions. There is not one democratic framing but several ones with different orientation.
Tunisie, démocratie, democracy, social movements, cadrage, framing, réseaux, mechanisms, diffusion, Tunisia
Fondation pour l'Université de Lausanne
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31/05/2019 13:24
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30/08/2019 6:08
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