Research Coffee with Pelin Ayan Musil and Salim Cevik

1.33 and online

Research Coffee is a series of events aimed to be a platform for discussions about publications, projects, and working papers of AAU Faculty as well as AAU students. Prior registration is required for this event.

Our next session will be hosted by Pelin Ayan Musil, Ph.D. and Salim Cevik, Ph.D. who will present “Democratic Transitions that did not end with Consolidation in the Muslim World: Turkey (2002-2011) and Tunisia (2011-2021)”. Clement Steuer Ph.D. will join us as the discussant of the paper. Dr. Steuer is the Senior Researcher at the Institute of International Relations in Prague.

You can find the abstract of the paper below, but to receive the full paper and the link to the meeting, please register in advance. We look forward to seeing you!

Both Turkey and Tunisia have attracted significant attention regarding their democratization and religious politics. While Turkey was considered a successful case of blending Islam and democracy in the decade of 2000s, it plunged into a gradual executive aggrandizement in the following decade. Tunisia became the only Arab Spring country to go through the democratic transition between 2011-and 2015 but six years later, an elected president suddenly grabbed power over the democratic institutions.  The comparison of the two countries shows that factors such as the level of modernization and economic development, history of democracy, or international influences neither explain why democratic transitions occurred nor shed light on why they did not end up with consolidation. This study pays attention to the perceived power symmetry between the Islamist and secular elites as the main variable explaining the transitions, and the rise of populism as the reason thwarting consolidation. Existing studies on democratization in Muslim contexts have mostly scrutinized Islamist actors; however, the comparison of the two countries’ trajectories highlights the significance of both the secular and Islamist actors in transition processes.