The dynamics of electoral politics after the Arab Spring: evidence from Tunisia

The dynamics of electoral politics after the Arab Spring: evidence from Tunisia

Author: 
Dennison, James
Place: 
Oxon
Publisher: 
Taylor & Francis Group
Date published: 
2021
Record type: 
Responsibility: 
Draege, Jonas, jt. author
Journal Title: 
Journal of North African Studies
Source: 
Journal of North African Studies,Vol. 26, No. 4, 2021, pp. 756-780
ISSN: 
0305-7070
Abstract: 

This article uses new survey evidence from Tunisia, conducted shortly after the three first elections following the Arab Spring, to explain dynamics in electoral behaviour. We find that the strongest and most consistent predictors of vote choice were gender, religiosity and attitudes to the role of Islam in public life. Economic attitudes, other socio-demographics and clientelistic motivations were consistently less or not important factors. These findings support the notion of a paramount Islamist-Secular divide, which is distinct from the Western Left-Right divide, in the Arab World. We also find evidence that Tunisian voters underwent a learning process over the course of elections. Overall, we present evidence to suggest that the primacy of the Islamist-secular axis of political conflict is, in accordance with the evidence from other early divides in transitional democracies, elite-driven, and so is likely to decline in importance over time.

Language: 
Country focus: 

CITATION: Dennison, James. The dynamics of electoral politics after the Arab Spring: evidence from Tunisia . Oxon : Taylor & Francis Group , 2021. Journal of North African Studies,Vol. 26, No. 4, 2021, pp. 756-780 - Available at: http://library.au.int/dynamics-electoral-politics-after-arab-spring-evidence-tunisia