The Lawfare Podcast: Sarah Yerkes on Tunisia's Democracy in Crisis

By Jen Patja Howell
Friday, July 30, 2021, 5:01 AM

For the past decade, Tunisia's democracy has stood out as one of the few remaining bright spots of the Arab Spring. But earlier this week, it entered its own crisis as President Kais Saied declared a state of emergency, suspended parliament and stated his intent to move forward with widespread prosecutions as part of a long-promised anti-corruption effort. Some argue that Saied's strong-arm tactics are exactly what's needed to break the stagnation that's been plaguing Tunisia's economic and political systems, but others fear that it may be the beginning of the end for Tunisian democracy as we know it. To discuss these developments, Scott R. Anderson sat down with Sarah Yerkes, a senior fellow at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace and an expert on Tunisia. They discussed the context for Saied's actions, how other actors in Tunisia and the region have reacted, and what the international community can and should do about it.