Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Islam, Politics, and the Constitution: Is Tunisia an Exception in the Arab Spring?

12:15-1:45 pm
Room 127, Yale Law School


Choukri Hmed
Visiting Professor of Political Science, New York University
Co-author of “Sociology of Arab Revolts” in Actes de la recherche en sciences sociales (forthcoming)

Andrew March
Associate Professor of Political Science, Yale University
Author of “Political Islam: Theory” in Annual Review of Political Science and “What Can the Islamic Past Teach Us about Secular Modernity?” in Political Theory (both forthcoming)

Tunisia is often presented as an exception in the Arab-Muslim world for its legal and political systems being more secular than those of other Arab countries. The Arab Spring started there in December 2010, and the Constituent Assembly of Tunisia was elected in October 2011. A constitution was finally adopted by consensus in January 2014. Throughout this process, the role of Islam as the religion of the state has remained subject to intense debate.

Join us for our first event of the fall as we examine the case of Tunisia and assess its new constitution. How does it balance Islamic and secular demands? What were the roles of Islamists and secular actors in its design? What consequences will it have for the rest of the Arab world?