Groups that have longstanding animosity are not bound to harm each other; they need populist leaders willing to fan the flames, who believe that encouraging violence against civilians will bring some benefit. Demagoguery is not inevitable. People of diverse nations, faiths, and political parties tolerate and even respect each other throughout the world.
Everything should be going wrong in Tunisia. In 2011, the Arab Spring revolutions engulfed half of the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) with the promise of democratization. But these revolutions failed to secure democracy. Tunisia is the stand-out; it has avoided all-out civil war like that in Syria and has not slipped back into an authoritarian regime as Egypt has. It has also managed to pass a new constitution, peacefully elect a new president (more than once), and win a Nobel Peace Prize along the way. There are powerful lessons here.
TIOS gives researchers and practitioners the opportunity to better understand conflicts and their outcomes when terrorists, rebels, and insurgents provide social services to theirs supporters. Read more.