The Institutional Transformation Of A Dictator 's Worst Nightmare

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A dictator’s worst nightmare is their own people because the transformation of institutions can threaten a dictator’s grip over a nation, either leading to their brutal crackdown on citizens or the forced removal of their regime. Citizens who are eager for change can be the death knell of an oppressive regime. For Tunisia, former president Zine el-Abidine Ben Ali, like many other rulers, eventually faced this threat. In 2011, the culmination of oppression and brutality led to the self-immolation of the young Tunisian street vendor, Mohamed Bouazizi. This triggered a multitude of protests that spread not only throughout Tunisia, but to other nations which came to be known as the Arab Spring, and to Tunisia, the Tunisian or Jasmine Revolution. This paper examines the institutional transformations that occurred in Tunisia in respects to why the change took place and how it has affected the country. Specifically, Ben Ali’s authoritative rule, what problems were associated with the transition, and the aftermath of the revolution. To the world’s surprise, a revolution beginning in Tunisia seemed quite unlikely since comparatively, their government did not deprive its citizens of basic rights to the point of extreme oppression. This was in large part due to Tunisia’s economy being reliant upon tourism, and because a lack of freedom would deter tourists thereby harming the economy, Ben Ali had to allow people more freedom than he would have preferred. For a dictator, these new
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