Between the State and Society: Elements of Formal Citizenship

  • Ruth Hanau Santini
Part of the Reform and Transition in the Mediterranean book series (RTM)


Through the prism of citizenship rights, this chapter looks at how state-society relations have been changing in the wake of the 2011 revolution in Tunisia. It does so by analyzing the genealogy of post-revolutionary Tunisia’s inclusive and yet highly politicized constitutional politics, and the ways in which this phase has laid the foundations for a new social contract. Focusing on the 2014 Constitution is particularly relevant given the exceptional nature of that document in the Arab world: all constitutions adopted in Tunisia before then had been presented to the citizenry as ‘advanced’ legal documents because they contained provisions recognizing the universality of some rights (in the Tunisian case, the restriction mostly revolved around political rights). In practice, constitutions aimed to keep all the prerogatives in the hand of the executive. This produced important consequences in the sphere of citizenship rights: despite their proclamation, their enjoyment was restricted by the adoption of martial laws, justified by the state of emergency. This chapter investigates how the new provisions for citizenship rights in the Constitution have expanded notions of what can be contended, fought for, and demanded by societal forces, setting a key precedent in changing state-society relations, post-2011.


Citizenship Rights Tunisia Constitution 


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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Ruth Hanau Santini
    • 1
  1. 1.University of Naples - L’OrientaleNaplesItaly

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