Sample Political Science Paper on Developing a Democracy

Developing a Democracy

Tunisia is one among developing countries whose democracy has gone through series of events, still facing obstacles yet optimist of a bright future. Tunisia’s democratic success story is an inspiration to many countries that went through the Arab Spring Uprising of the 2011. The countries that failed to match the democratic endurance of Tunisia include Yemen, Syria and Libya that experienced Civil Wars (Ishaan, 2019). The other country falling under this category is Egypt that descended into military dictatorship. Historically, Tunisia’s democracy was characterized by dictatorship democratic ideology, ruled by President Zine el-Abidine Ben Ali who had stayed in power more than 23 years (Ishaan, 2019). The dictatorship ideology was characterized by excessive use of power by the police, use of courts to punish critics and political opponents, assassinations and stifled civil right groups. The democratic opening was presented by Mohamed Bouazizi, a fruit vendor who set himself on fire on December 17, 2010, outside a government building (Safi, 2019). This act set the stage for protests and revolution that spread throughout the country. Within weeks, the president had stepped down and fled the country offering an exceptional chance for democracy.  During its democratic journey, Tunisia almost descended back to chaos in 2013 due to case of assassinations and extremists which polarized the country. The solution was provided by factions of civil society groups that brought militaristic parties together.

However, Tunisia is still facing some obstacles in its quest for democracy. The main challenge is actually proving to the people that democracy leads to prosperity. Again, Alexander and Welzel (2011) expect that democracy brings about freedom, economic opportunities, and jobs. Unfortunately, Tunisians are still waiting for the economic benefits of participating in revolution. So far, the people are angry with the government’s failure to improve the standards of living and quality of life. A section of experts have opined that these challenges are signifying Tunisia’s unfinished transition to fully fledged democracy (Safi, 2019). The politicians are on the receiving end of the criticisms because despite being in power, the country is still facing structural troubles, a declining economy, escalating food prices, unemployment and a society struggling to access social services.  The state of affairs in Tunisia has made a section of people to clamor for the dictatorship days as there was relative stability. The presidential run-off landslide win of Kais Saied, an outsider in view of many people, is a clear demonstration Tunisians are tired of political dynasties (Safi, 2019). The message sent is clear that political establishments have been incompetent enough to solve major problems, which brought the revolution in the first place.

Tunisia should institute a parliamentary democracy. Magstadt (2017) asserts that in this type of democracy, the government is headed by a prime minister who is answerable to the parliament. Tunisia is still in the process of building a democratic system. There is need to give more powers to the people through their representatives in parliament. For a long time, Tunisians have been abandoned by the political-class who has failed to initiate any meaningful changes in the country. In the past, Tunisians have been worried of the increasing power of the police and use of courts to punish political opponents. Hence, going into the future, Tunisians can implement a type of democracy that bestows power to the people through parliament. The newly elected President Saied may not single-handedly address all the anxieties and expectations of the voters. This is the right time to give power to the people through parliamentary representatives. Though the parliamentary results were disjointed and failed to deliver a clear mandate to a single party, Magstadt (2017) believe it will be significant in pursuing inclusion as the diverse concern of the people can easily be addressed. Formal negotiations in parliament and fusion of power with the presidency should start to set the stage for an all-inclusive democratic government.

References

Alexander, A. and Welzel, C. (2011). Measuring effective democracy: The human empowerment

approach. Comparative Politics, 43: 271–289.

Ishaan, T. (2019).  In a world of crisis, Tunisia’s democracy marches on. Washington Post,

Retrieved from https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/2019/11/05/world-crisis-tunisias-democracy-marches/.

Magstadt, T. M. (2017). Understanding politics: Ideas, institutions, and issues. Boston: MA

Cengage Learning.

Safi, M. (2019). Tunisia’s presidential election to put young democracy to the test. The

Guardian, Retrieved from https://www.theguardian.com/world/2019/sep/09/tunisia-presidential-election-will-be-test-of-fledgling-democracy.