The rocky path from elections to a new constitution in Tunisia: Mechanisms for consensus-building and inclusive decision-making

"This paper outlines some of the innovative mechanisms for consensus-building and inclusive decision-making deployed in Tunisia since the 2011 elections. Much interest has been generated by the Yemeni national dialogue, with countries from Libya to Myanmar looking to develop similar processes. Tunisia also used national dialogue to seek consensus and compromise during its transition process. However, the national dialogue processes in Tunisia took a radically different form from that in Yemen or most other countries. Moreover, national dialogue was only one mechanism used to broaden consensus and find compromises during the transition process. As we will see, other mechanisms, including different types of coalition governments and mechanisms rooted in existing legislative institutions were also used. This paper touches upon the role of the international community, the somewhat ambiguous role of Tunisian civil society organisations in the transition process, and briefly considers the role of popular protests in pushing for greater inclusiveness in political decision-making."