The Force of Obedience. The Political Economy of Repression in Tunisia
The events that took place in Tunisia in January 2011 were the spark igniting the uprisings that swept across North Africa and the Middle East, toppling dictators and leading to violent conflict and tense stand-offs. What was it about this small country in North Africa that enabled it to play this exceptional role?This book is a deeply informed account of the exercise of power in Tunisia in the run-up to the revolt that forced its authoritarian ruler, Ben Ali, into exile. It analyses the practices of domination and repression that were pervasive features of everyday life in Tunisia, showing how the debt economy and the systems of social solidarity and welfare created forms of subjection and mutual dependence between rulers and ruled, enabling the reader to understand how a powerful protest movement could develop despite tight control by police and party. For those wishing to understand the extraordinary events unfolding across the Arab world, this rich, subtle and insightful book is the indispensable starting point.