In marking an historical change in large parts of the Arab region, the Arab uprisings have also triggered a process of soul searching in the scholarship of Arab politics. The events unfolding in the region since 2011 prove indeed that the two paradigms dividing the academic community, that of authoritarian resilience (also known as the post-democratization paradigm) and that of democratization, are alone insufficient in accounting for the political developments of the area. In this regard, extant contributions explaining the different paths undertook by Tunisia and Egypt between 2011 and 2013 enlighten the point in case. On the one hand, democratization studies pinpoint to the different choices taken by transitional actors but remain only partial in that don’t go further than the observed behavior. On the other hand, post-democratization studies focus on the structures and the mechanisms underpinning the previous authoritarian regimes but fall short in providing the causal link between them and the observed outcome. In line with the transitology approach, this research moves from the acknowledgment that the failure or the success of the transitions in Egypt and Tunisia is to be attributed to political parties’ choice about whether to cooperate or not with the other ones within the phase of installation. Yet, unlike any other kind of transitional actor, parties’ strategy profiles result from the interplay among: i) extant social divisions; ii) power resources and iii) ideological polarization. By breaking down the concept of agency in this way, the different structures of competition underneath the previous authoritarian rule in Tunisia and Egypt account for much of the variation across the two countries. First, they are responsible for the uneven distribution of seats’ share inside the transitional national assemblies encouraging stronger parties to defect from cooperation in order to institutionalize their power advantage. Second, they are responsible for the different degrees of ideological polarization which is deemed to reduce the common ground available for the constitutional bargaining. While offering new insights accounting for the political developments in Tunisia and Egypt following the ousting of the previous dictators, this work combines the two contending paradigms into a unified reading fulfilling their respective shortcomings. On the one hand, the concept of agency so formulated allows democratization studies to go deeper than ‘what ought to be’. On the other hand, it provides post-democratization studies a causal link, i.e. parties’ agency, connecting previous regimes’ structures with the outcome of transition.

POLITICAL PARTIES AS COMBINERS: TRANSITIONS IN TUNISIA AND EGYPT BETWEEN DEMOCRATIZATION AND AUTHORITARIAN RESILIENCE / V. Resta ; coordinatore del dottorato: F. Zucchini ; supervisor: F. Franchino. - : . Università degli Studi di Milano, 2017 Oct 30. ((29. ciclo, Anno Accademico 2016. [10.13130/v-resta_phd2017-10-30].

POLITICAL PARTIES AS COMBINERS: TRANSITIONS IN TUNISIA AND EGYPT BETWEEN DEMOCRATIZATION AND AUTHORITARIAN RESILIENCE

V. Resta
2017

Abstract

In marking an historical change in large parts of the Arab region, the Arab uprisings have also triggered a process of soul searching in the scholarship of Arab politics. The events unfolding in the region since 2011 prove indeed that the two paradigms dividing the academic community, that of authoritarian resilience (also known as the post-democratization paradigm) and that of democratization, are alone insufficient in accounting for the political developments of the area. In this regard, extant contributions explaining the different paths undertook by Tunisia and Egypt between 2011 and 2013 enlighten the point in case. On the one hand, democratization studies pinpoint to the different choices taken by transitional actors but remain only partial in that don’t go further than the observed behavior. On the other hand, post-democratization studies focus on the structures and the mechanisms underpinning the previous authoritarian regimes but fall short in providing the causal link between them and the observed outcome. In line with the transitology approach, this research moves from the acknowledgment that the failure or the success of the transitions in Egypt and Tunisia is to be attributed to political parties’ choice about whether to cooperate or not with the other ones within the phase of installation. Yet, unlike any other kind of transitional actor, parties’ strategy profiles result from the interplay among: i) extant social divisions; ii) power resources and iii) ideological polarization. By breaking down the concept of agency in this way, the different structures of competition underneath the previous authoritarian rule in Tunisia and Egypt account for much of the variation across the two countries. First, they are responsible for the uneven distribution of seats’ share inside the transitional national assemblies encouraging stronger parties to defect from cooperation in order to institutionalize their power advantage. Second, they are responsible for the different degrees of ideological polarization which is deemed to reduce the common ground available for the constitutional bargaining. While offering new insights accounting for the political developments in Tunisia and Egypt following the ousting of the previous dictators, this work combines the two contending paradigms into a unified reading fulfilling their respective shortcomings. On the one hand, the concept of agency so formulated allows democratization studies to go deeper than ‘what ought to be’. On the other hand, it provides post-democratization studies a causal link, i.e. parties’ agency, connecting previous regimes’ structures with the outcome of transition.
FRANCHINO, FABIO
ZUCCHINI, FRANCESCO
FRANCHINO, FABIO
Democratization ; Authoritarian Resilience ; Tunisia ; Egypt ; Party Politics ; Quantitative Text Analysis
Settore SPS/04 - Scienza Politica
POLITICAL PARTIES AS COMBINERS: TRANSITIONS IN TUNISIA AND EGYPT BETWEEN DEMOCRATIZATION AND AUTHORITARIAN RESILIENCE / V. Resta ; coordinatore del dottorato: F. Zucchini ; supervisor: F. Franchino. - : . Università degli Studi di Milano, 2017 Oct 30. ((29. ciclo, Anno Accademico 2016. [10.13130/v-resta_phd2017-10-30].
Doctoral Thesis
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/2434/546844
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