Tunisia: Economic and Social Challenges Beyond the Revolution

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The Tunisian uprising began as a spontaneous social protest against unemployment and social injustice in the interior of the country.  In less than a month and against all predictions, street protests swept away a regime that had been in place for 23 years. The revolution and the ongoing democratization process under way in Tunisia represents a unique open opportunity to free the country from the obstacles that previously impeded its development. While short-term policies should give strong signals of change by addressing governance problems and social demand, the country’s growth pattern and structural policy should be reconsidered in order to promote inclusive growth and a successful economic shift to a higher level of development. This paper analyzes the background of the Tunisian revolution and the outstanding challenges ahead for policy-makers.