CONFERENCE: The Resilience of Democracy in a Troubling Economy
Facing popular dissatisfaction in a season of political renewal
September 20, 2019 | Hotel Sheraton – Avenue de la Ligue Arabe, B.P. 345 – Tunis
From Europe to Tunisia the lasting pain of the economic recession and the unaccomplished promises of globalization are now challenging the resilience of democracy and its very capacity to respond to people’s needs and expectations. In this context, the democratic discourse itself is pushed towards the limits of the traditional deliberative framework by the growing pressure of populism, which at all latitudes exploit the social and cultural puzzling related to the challenge of immigration and the constant threat of radicalization.
Under such political pressure, the European Union and its member States seem unable to look up to the Mediterranean horizon by developing a comprehensive and far-reaching cooperation approach. The attraction that the liberal-democratic ideal was able to exert over the Glorious decades, by unifying the desire of economic wellness and stability with the aspiration to widespread civic liberties, seems more broadly to lose strength, while the social and economic troubles related to globalization push a significant part of the population to show unsatisfaction with the performance of democracy. To what extent can such tension between social and economic frustration and political liberties hold? Can it threaten the hope of the very endurance of democracy? What are the remedies to avoid such “emergency” scenario, in Tunisia so much as in Europe?
Reset DOC in partnership with Carep – Arab Center for Research and Policy Studies and the support of the Italian Ministry of Foreign Affairs will gather a panel of intellectuals, policy-makers, journalists and academics to discuss such pressing issues in a one-day conference to be held in Tunis on Friday, September 20th.
Speakers: Souad Abderrahim* • Yadh Ben Achour • Giancarlo Bosetti • Ahmed Bouazzi • Issam Chabbii • Elyas Fakhfakh* • Emanuele Felice • Rached Ghannouchi* • Ali Hafsi • Mounir Kchaou • Jonathan Laurence • Zied Laddhari • Mehdi Mabrouk • Mohsen Marzouk • Radwan Masmoudi • Ferdinando Nelli Feroci • Mouez Soussi • Federica Zoja and others
The event is free and open to all upon registration, subject to availability of seats.
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9.30 / Welcome and registration
9.45 / Opening remarks – G. Bosetti (ResetDOC) and M. Mabrouk (CAREP)
10.10 / Welcome address by Mayor of Tunis S. Abderrahim* and Italy Ambassador to Tunisia L. Fanara
10.30 / Socio-economic fragility and the risks for democratic stability: a shared challenge
E. Felice (University of Chieti); M. Soussi (IHEC Carthage)
11.45 / Keynote Speech // The resilience of Tunisia’s democracy – Y. Ben Achour (Collège de France)
12.30 / Discussion
13.00 / Lunch break
14.00 / Economic stagnation, multicultural integration: Europe’s dual challenge
F. Nelli Feroci (IAI); R. Masmoudi (CSID); J. Laurence (Boston College / Reset Dialogues)
15.20 / A lively democracy: Tunisian political parties’ responses to the economic crisis
A. Bouazzi (Courant Démocrate); I. Chabbii (Aljoumhiri); E. Fakhfakh (Forum Démocratique pur le Travail et les Libertés); R. Ghannouchi* / Z Laddhari (Ennahdha); M. Marzouk* (Machrouu Tounes); A. Hafsi* (Nidaa Tounes); S. Azzabi* (Tahya Tounes). Chairs: M. Kchaou (Université de Tunis); F. Zoja (Journalist)
16.45 / Closing remarks