Tunisian Revolutions: Reflections on Seas, Coasts, and Interiors

Tunisian Revolutions: Reflections on Seas, Coasts, and Interiors

by Julia Clancy-Smith


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Tunisian Revolutions: Reflections on Seas, Coasts, and Interiors by Julia Clancy-Smith

In December 2010 an out-of-work Tunisian merchant, Mohamed Bouazizi, set himself on fire and precipitated the Arab Spring. Popular interpretations of Bouazizi's self-immolation viewed economic and political despair as the root of the Tunisian revolution, but as Julia Clancy-Smith points out Tunisia's long history of revolutions and protest movements presents a far more complicated set of causes. Proposing a conceptual framework of "coastalization" v. "interiorization," Clancy-Smith examines Tunisia's last two centuries and demonstrates how geographical and environmental and social factors also lie behind that country's volatile history. Within this framework Clancy-Smith explores how Tunisia's coast became a Mediterranean playground for transnational elites, a mecca of tourism, while its interior agrarian regions suffered increasing neglect and marginalization. This distinction has had a profound impact on the fate of Tunisia, and has manifested itself in divisive debates over politics and religion and gender that have lead to a series of mass civic actions that continue to this day. Clancy-Smith proposes a fresh historical lens through which to view the relationship between spacial displacements, regionalization, and transnationalism.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781626162310
Publisher: Georgetown University Press
Publication date: 11/03/2014
Pages: 54
Product dimensions: 6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x 0.15(d)
Age Range: 18 Years

About the Author

Julia Clancy-Smith is professor of history at the University of Arizona. She is the coauthor of The Modern Middle East and North Africa: A History in Documents and author of Mediterraneans: North Africa and Europe in an Age of Migration and Rebel and Saint: Muslim Notables, Populist Protest, Colonial Encounters.

Table of Contents


1. Preludes and Postscripts: Of Baguettes and Social Protest2. Coastalization: Agriculture, Colonialism, and the Granary of Rome 3. Coastalization and Globalization: Tourism, Profane and Sacred 4. Mediterranean Women, Politics, and Islam 5. Mediterranean Games, Politics, and Dissent6. From Sidi Bou Saʿid to Sidi Bouzid: Targets and Symbols



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