Main Researcher: Dr. Francesco Biagi

The so-called "Arab Spring" involves several countries characterized by geographical proximity, similar culture and religion and, until recently, an authoritarian (or semi-authoritarian) regime. Through a legal analysis of the processes of transition in the countries of North Africa involved in this process (i.e. Morocco, Tunisia, Libya, Egypt and Algeria), the project aims at identifying the reasons why these countries, despite the analogies mentioned above, have chosen different constitutional paths to try to abandon the previous regimes and attempt to establish a democratic State. Thus, the legal analysis represents an instrument to give political answers to the processes taking place in North Africa.


The main result of this project consists of the book edited by Justin O. Frosini and Francesco Biagi on "Political and Constitutional Transitions in North Africa: Actors and Factors" (Routledge, London, 2014).

Table of Contents: Introduction by Justin O. Frosini and Francesco Biagi; Ennahdha: Moderation and Compromise in Tunisia's Constitutional Bargain by Duncan Pickard; Egypt: A Constitutional Court in an Unconstitutional Setting by Nathan J. Brown; The Pilot of Limited Change. Mohammed VI and the Transition in Morocco by Francesco Biagi; Actors and Factors in Libya's Revolution by Karim Mezran and Eric Knecht; Algeria: The Outlier State? by John P. Entelis; Transitions from Authoritarian Rule following the Arab Uprisings: A Matter of Variables by Justin O. Frosini and Francesco Biagi.

Abstract: The transformations which are taking place in the Arab world are dynamic processes characterised by a number of variables that one can refer to as actors and factors. The implications of the Arab uprisings are important for the world at large; the Arab world's successes, and failures, at this crucial moment may well serve as a model for other nations. Political and Constitutional Transitions in North Africa: Actors and Factors focuses on five Northern African countries - Tunisia, Egypt, Morocco, Libya and Algeria - examining specific institutions and actors participating in the political upheavals in North Africa since 2011, and placing them in a comparative perspective in order to better understand the processes at work. This book addresses issues pertinent to North African and Middle Eastern Studies, comparative constitutional law, political science and transitional studies and it contains contributions by experts in all these fields. Providing a significant contribution to the understanding of events that followed the immolation of Mohamed Bouazizi in Tunisia, this book is a valuable contribution to North African Studies, Middle Eastern Studies, Comparative Constitutional Law and Transitional Studies.

The video of the book presentation held in Washington D.C. on February 26th, 2015, can be found here.

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Conference Presentations


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