The Nahda party of Tunisia is the first Islamist party to come to power in the aftermath of the Arab revolutions that began in late 2010. When it came ahead of its political rivals in Tunisia’s election of October 2011, Nahda moved from a marginal existence as a dissident Islamist movement to the leading position in a coalition government. In the process, Nahda not only had to contend with fears and fantasies about an Islamist high-jacking of democracy, it had to tackle the administrative and practical problems of heading a post-authoritarian regime. Nahda has not mishandled the two sets of difficulties disastrously: Tunisia has escaped the large-scale violence that engulfed Libya and Syria, while Nahda has not been deposed by a military coup as has the Freedom and Justice Party (FJP) in Egypt. Yet, Nahda’s problems persist: since its ascent to power, it had to redefine and adapt its political project and strategy numerous times. Although the situation in Tunisia is fluid, as it is wherever the uprisings have occurred, Nahda’s experience offers an important illustration of how Islamic politics has had to negotiate complex trajectories in shifting from dissent to rule in various countries under different conditions — a major theme of this book.
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- Islamist Ideals and Governing Realities: Nahda’s Project and the Constraint of Adaptation in Post-revolution Tunisia
- Palgrave Macmillan UK