Tunisia’s Re-configurations and Transitional Justice in Process: How Planned Processes of Social and Political Change Interplay with Unplanned Political Dynamics. In: Reconfigurations. Contextualising Transformation Processes and Lasting Crises in the Middle East and North Africa, Eds. Ouaissa, Rachid/Pannewick, Friederike/Strohmaier, Alena.
Mariam Salehi – 2021
This chapter seeks to explain the developments of the Tunisian transitional justice process. Drawing on Norbert Elias’s ideas about social processes, it argues that dynamics of transitional justice processes can neither be understood solely in light of international norms and the “justice industry” that both shape institutionalized transitional justice projects, nor simply by examining context and the political preferences of domestic actors. Rather, these shifts are shaped by the interplay of planned processes with unplanned political and social dynamics; with a political context in flux, power shifts, and sometimes competing planned efforts in other realms. Empirically grounded in “process-concurrent” field research in post- “Arab Spring” Tunisia, the contribution shows that a technocratic/institutionalized transitional justice project can develop dynamics that are somewhat, but not entirely, independent of power shifts. However, the above interplays may lead to frictional encounters that trigger feedback loops, new processes, and new structures.