The 2015 Nobel Peace Prize recognized the role of Tunisian civil society- represented by the dialogue quartet- in setting the country on its democratic pathway. Another key factor in this transition concerns the role of Ennahda, the moderate Tunisian Islamic party, which won the country´s first free and fair elections in 2011. Unlike other Islamic parties who gained power during the Arab Spring, Ennahda has shown a remarkable willingness to compromise and reinvent its political identity.

Rachid Ghannouchi, the party’s 74-year-old founder and president stated recently that "Ennahda has changed from an ideological movement engaged in the struggle for identity to a protest movement against the authoritarian regime and now to a national democratic party. We must keep religion far from political struggles," Ennahda’s announcement that it would completely disengage religion from its political policies has made headlines.

With the collapse of the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt and the Turkish AKP embroiled in domestic power struggles, does Ennahda represent a new democratic model for moderate political Islamists? What can we learn from the role of Ennahda during the Tunisian democratic transition and are these lessons transferable to other countries?

Relevant publications:

External Powers and the Arabic spring

Tunisia: revolusjon, dialog og demokratisering

The seminar will be interpreted from French to English.

You can follow the seminar directly on YouTube