A Comparative Political Economy of Tunisia and Morocco: On by Gregory White

By Gregory White

Examines how emerging fiscal integration with Europe affects Tunisia and Morocco.

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Riots in Ouardanine by small private landowners—an important constituency for the PSD—prompted Bourguiba to sack Ben Salah in September 1969. It would not do, however, to label Tunisia a democracy or even, to impart a sense of process, a “democratizing” country. ”30 This is especially true in recent years as Ben Ali has stepped up the activities of the security apparatus. Nonetheless, one cannot discount the importance of the legacy of the early years of independence and the ability of the ruling party to mobilize popular support.

4 Ben Salah and state officials justified the policies as socialist, and the policies included a celebrated effort to establish agricultural cooperatives, especially on land expropriated in 1964 from former French (and Italian) colonials. Tunisia had been a Protectorate of France from 1881 until 1957, but Italian colonials had a pivotal presence beginning in the late eighteenth century. Indeed, Italian colonials at the turn of the century claimed that Tunisia was an Italian colony, with French administration.

Paradoxically, state elites gain greater insularity from societal interests because of the dependent character of the country’s relationship to the external economy. Governments can “deflect” criticism because of the purported limitations placed on a country by the external arena. Thus, official declarations of external relationships are, simultaneously, proud declarations of a country’s future and the profound challenges facing the country because of the relationship with the external realm. Before turning to a consideration of Tunisia and Morocco’s relationships to the European Union, it is useful to review the preceding framework by articulating a set of propositions.

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