Public Writings

How much popular support does Tunisia’s president really have?
26 April 2022 - The Washington Post
The gap between survey attitudes and actual behaviors is a long-standing and well-established finding in survey research. Recent research suggests this gap is especially relevant for populists, whose supporters are particularly susceptible to expressing rhetorical support for direct democracy mechanisms such as referendums — but then don’t actually participate in the process. Does Tunisia have a similar attitude gap? In this Monkey Cage article, Sharan Grewal and I explain how despite the supposed support for Saied, according to surveys, he has struggled to mobilize these supporters online and offline.
Past as Prologue: Kaïs Saïed’s Prior Statements Point To Upcoming Political Moves
10 August 2021 - POMED
The only way to understand President Kaïs Saïed’s system of political beliefs—to the extent that he has a coherent one—is to go back to statements that he has made since the revolution.
Tunisia: Essebsi and the resurrection of Bourguiba
8 August 2019 - Open Democracy
In this Op-ed published on Open Democracy few days after the death of Tunisia's former president Beji Caid Essebsi, I retrace his legacy as a state official who help top political positions in Tunisia during the authoritarian area and after the 2011 revolution. I also explain why he failed to resurrect Bourguiba's ideology that, I argue, died since the 1980s.
Corruption and Reform in Tunisia: The Dangers of an Elitist Analysis
23 Mar 2014 - Jadaliyya
In this Jadaliyya article, Max Gallien and I outline the dangers of viewing recent protests and disagreements around corruption and reform in Tunisia as a conflict between a northern business elite and southern smugglers. We critique a recent report by International Crisis Group, and argue for a more comprehensive reform agenda in Tunisia.
Le web tunisien face à la question des ressources naturelles
23 Mar 2014 - Nawaat
This article presents a quantitative analysis of the evolution of the debate around resources-related issues since the beginning of the revolution in December 2010. I used data collected from conventional and social media. The charts show a significant increase of the interest of Tunisian social media users on this topic.
Tunisie : Les B.A.BA de la Caisse Générale de Compensation
29 May 2014 - Nawaat
In this article, I explain the reasons behind the creation of the Tunisian "General Subsidies Fund". I describe the evolution of subsidies policies since the colonial period. I finally present a critique to the approach adopted by the Tunisian government to reform it.
Tentative d’immersion dans la boite noire des subventions de l’énergie
19 Nov 2013 - Nawaat
This article presents a critical analysis of the system of fuel subsidies in Tunisia. I explain how the variation of oil prices in the international market, the depreciation of the Tunisian currency, the increase of energy consumption and Tunisia's energy deficit cannot explain the rapid increase of the budget allocated to fuel subsidies. I suggest that this problem is cause by a governance deficit in the state-owned companies involved in the Tunisian energy sector.
“Sit-in du Destin” à Tataouine et crise de Ben Guerdane… Bassin Minier 2.0 ?
18 Mar 2014 - Nawaat
In this report, I cover the first major sit-in in Tataouine where the local inhabitants of the oil-rich region claim their new constitutional right to benefit from the extractive revenue.