by Michael J. Totten
Manhattan Institute
January 03, 2013
City Journal
The fact remains that Tunisia, while politically liberal in some ways, has no actual experience with working democracy. “My feeling is that Tunisia will cross five years of uncertainty,” says Ounais. “But the trend is toward a strong Arab democratic society. Within five years, I think we will stabilize with a new legislative assembly and create a new tradition of democratic rule in the country. We are the ones who are creating this pattern of Arab politics. We are the first.” Will Ounais be proved right? Will the Arab Spring succeed in its extraordinary birthplace? Years are likely to pass before we’ll know for sure, but if Tunisia becomes a stable democracy—and if it becomes a model for others—we should, at least in part, thank Carthage and Rome.

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