Bottom Line Up Front On June 27, the Tunisian capital of Tunis was rocked by twin suicide blasts that killed one police officer and injured many others. One of the explosions hit a bus carrying Tunisia’s presidential guards, while the Islamic State claimed responsibility for the attack via Amaq ...

In early January, Tunisia and Iran witnessed remarkably similar periods of spontaneous and widespread unrest. In each case, the demonstrations failed to rise to revolutionary levels, but the protests lingered for days and the worst of the violence was contained only after hundreds of arrests. Low level protests continue in ...

This Sunday marks seven years since a wave of protests erupted across the Middle East and North Africa in what came to be known as the Arab Spring. Tunisia, the country where the uprisings began, has been saluted as the revolution’s success story for managing a relatively peaceful transition from ...

The term “political Islam” has become commonplace after the Arab uprisings of 2011, during which Islamist groups rose to political prominence across the Middle East and North Africa. But what does “political Islam” really mean, and should Westerners fear it? For most observers, the term refers to relatively moderate Islamist ...

The concept of political Islam has deep historical roots in Islamic societies and, during the Arab Spring uprisings of 2011 in the Middle East and North Africa, many moderate political Islamist groups rose to prominence. In Egypt, Mohammed Morsi of the Muslim Brotherhood won the presidency.  Since then, however, Morsi ...

Usage of the term political Islam has become common in recent years as Islamist movements vie for influence in a changing Middle East. However, the expression means very different things to different people It is often used to refer to a wide spectrum of Islamist groups, from the Muslim Brotherhood ...

Tunisia is on the front lines of an evolving war against Jihadi-Salafism. The ideology espoused by al Qaeda and ISIS, has already drawn thousands of young Tunisians to the battlefields of Syria and Libya. Other adherents have committed numerous terrorist attacks in Tunisia since 2013, killing dozens of people and ...

Today, Tunisia’s Parliament meets to hold a vote of confidence in the new unity government of Prime Minister Youssef Chahed. In a moment that seems to encapsulate the democratic ideals of the 2011 Tunisian Revolution, Chahed will present the parliament with one of the most diverse cabinets in the country’s ...

Five years after the Tunisian Revolution in January 2011, the country has become the only liberal democracy in the Arab World. This successful transition from autocratic rule is especially impressive when compared to the relapse into authoritarianism or descent into civil conflict experienced by other “Arab Spring” countries. However, many ...

As Tunisia nears the sixth year of its 2011 popular revolution, the most challenging question is whether these massive protests led to a real change in the lives of the people. Although democratization could not come overnight, the unique successful transition in the Arab World, as it is thought of ...

The Arab Spring was the beacon of hope that would free millions from the grip of autocratic rulers.   At first, it looked promising.  One by one, the dictators fell: Zine El Abidine Ben Ali in Tunisia, Hosni Mubarak in Egypt, Moammar Khadafy in Libya, Ali Abdullah Saleh in Yemen.   Many ...

The “Arab Spring” of 2011-12 has profoundly changed the Middle East, but much is misunderstood about its effects.  First, it did not produce, other than in Tunisia, lasting liberalization and more democracy in the states of the region. Second, the Arab Spring was not just “Arab,” but it also had ...

When the so-called Arab Spring burst upon the Middle East five years ago, Henry Kissinger remarked that this was only “scene one of act one of a five act play.”  How right he was. Kissinger’s remark was a usefully sobering antidote to a brief moment of nearly unbounded euphoria.  Recall ...

As the citizens of Arab nations reflect on the fifth anniversary of the popular revolts of 2011, they are likely to feel a sense of malaise and frustration. The rise of autocratic counter-revolutionary politics, regime repression, the resurgence of terrorism, and the spread of violence have replaced the euphoria of ...

Four years after the Arab Spring, the security environment across North Africa remains dire.    Here is an overview of developments in five key countries in the region. Algeria The Arab Spring did not signigicantly affect Algerian politics. Abdelaziz Bouteflika is still the country’s President, a post he has held ...

After having been idled by sit-ins for four years, Tunisia’s state-owned phosphate mines are open again. Why they closed was just one example of a trend that has emerged across North Africa in the wake of the Arab Spring. A potent brew of reinvigorated faith in the power of popular ...

The Cipher Brief sat down with Haim Malka, the Deputy Director of and Senior Fellow for the Middle East Program at the Center for Strategic and International Studies.  He shared his thoughts on the current and future security environment in North Africa. The Cipher Brief: The security environment in North ...