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Comparative politics

Dissertation : Comparative politics. Recherche parmi 299 000+ dissertations

Par   •  30 Mars 2017  •  Dissertation  •  2 006 Mots (9 Pages)  •  658 Vues

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The type of leadership is an important aspect in the development of any country due to the nature of events that are allowed to take place. According to Grugel and Louis-Bishop (2014),  democratisation is  is the process that achieves in a  “shift from single party, personal or dynasty rule to accountable and representative government”. this process has many steps, including liberalisation, de consolidation, institutionnalisation and legitimation (Bratton and Van De Walle,2004) It is undeniable that structural factors highly contribute to the level of democratisation since individuals are guided by the kind of environment within their context. However, it is also important to consider non structural factors such as agencies that also play a major role in the democratisation process. The objective of our study is to understand the structures and agents that facilitates democratisation  through the comparaison of the process of democratisation in Tunisia and Lebanon. I believe it is important to compare two countries that nowadays achieved a noticeable democratic index (Democracy Index,2017) compared with the other countries of their regions. This concern reminds the image that S. Huntington associates to the idea of the third wave. Seen under this angle, the democratisation stops being considered as a linear and finalised process. On the contrary, it is associated with the possibility of trajectories multi-form and not drawn of avance. In the first place, I will propose a definition of democratisation. Secondly, I will provide for each country the structures and the factors that allowed them to become the successful democracy that they are.


        Tunisia is an Arabic country that has a population of over ten million citizens . Various factors have contributed to the type of leadership in place. But the true catalyst was on December 17th  when Mohamed Bouazizi set fire to himself at Sidi Bouzid, starting the wave of "Arab Springs" which forced president Ben Ali  to resign less than a month later (Anderson,2011) . Being an Arab-dominated nation, settling on a particular deal is challenging since the religion has an impact on the nature of the leadership structures. It calls for serious interventions for a way forward to be developed in a friendly manner since some people might choose to pursue a challenging dimension when handling the issue of leadership based on selfish interests.      

Class struggle and Economic standards

        According to Liza Anderson (2011), Tunisia was one of the most educated country in the Arab world and, it enjoyed the largest middle class and strong labor movement. This is an important condition as it explain the the revolution against the regime Ben Ali regime, for the creation of more job, snd for more basic right. Indeed, according to Freedom rights, Tunisia lacks in political and civil rights. Moreover, the media is highly corrupted as it uses different measure to silence opposition.

        The modernisation theory is one a really popular hypothesis that suggest that democracy naturally follows socio economic development  Considering it like that,  democracy is a need that follows “basic needs” such as food, shelter, health. The latter are prior needs that must be satisfied (Maslow, 1954). As a matter of fact, Tunisia has impressive scores on the Human Development Indicator (HDI) In fact it is ranked 98 out of 182 countries.  Some theorists (Casinelli 1961) argue that “a modern democratic state can exist only in a society that has solved the problems of material well being.” In terms of governance, Tunisia also has an advance compared with the average of countries in the Middle East and North Africa region.  An exception, however, is the indicator related to Voice & Accountability. Transparency International ranks Tunisia 59th out of 178 countries, which makes the country the most highly ranked state in North Africa.

Cultural beliefs and Religion

It is necessary to remember  that  the political actors and the international media put insufficiently forward:the fact that the identical and religious themes were triggering events and factors of the Tunisian revolution. Tunisia being the Arabic nation, Islamic religion dominated the country thus depicting the overall expectations of people across the world. With such defined religion, it is quite challenging to think of democracy in the country since the elected leaders must subscribe to what the dominant religion dictates. This affected the democratisation process in Tunisia until the time.


Lebanon during the Ottoman Empire some self-governing institutions but the so called modern state of Lebanon was created during the French mandate in 1943. It received its total independence in 1946 after the French troops withdrawal from the country. Lebanon is a multinational and multicultural state with diverse population of religions.These factors will provide relevant information since they have a direct impact on the kind of leadership practices that are common in the country, namely, a consensus democracy.

        Lebanon is one of the only country of the Middle East with a  strong democratic tradition asserted by its constitution and implementation by its political system.

Contrary to the democratisation of Tunisia that was possible due to strong economic structures, the civil society, more involved politically, and a middle class who do not want to  carry on with the basic needs, and start asking for more rights, the democratisation of Lebanon was mainly possible through external agents.

         According to Nathan.j Brown and Emad Shahin (2013), the United States, Israel and Saudia Arabia and Egypt played a major role in the democratisation of Lebanon, as they helped dismanteling military structures that tried to take control of the then fragil lebanese government. The 1989 Ta’if Agreement ( in Saudia Arabia), pu to an end a civil war that started over fifteen years ago in Lebanon. It was negotiated by the American, Syrian and Saudi Arabian with the surviving members of the 1972 Lebanese parliament, the last legislative body to be democratically-elected before the war. The agreement rewrote the country’s constitution and the 1943 unwritten National Pact, which had originally established Lebanon’s confessional political system and had placed substantial political power with the Christian groups that constituted the popular majority at the time (Sharro, 2010). Given the significant demographic changes that had since occurred inside the country, the Taif Agreement attempted to “restore” the balance of power by instituting a series of reforms that undid the political dominance of the Christian groups and strengthened Muslim (both Shi’ia and Sunni) representation and political influence, in accordance with their increased numbers, 128 parliamentary seats are distributed equally between Christians (50%) and Muslims (50%). As stated earlier the president must always be a Christian Maronite. The president is elected every sixth year and according to the constitution the president cannot be reelected.


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