Educational Transitions in Post-Revolutionary Spaces: Islam, Security, and Social Movements in Tunisia

Episode 69 

Educational Transitions in Post-Revolutionary Spaces: 
Islam, Security, and Social Movements in Tunisia

In this podcast, Dr. Tavis D. Jules is interviewed on his recent book, Educational Transitions in Post-Revolutionary Spaces : Islam, Security and Social Movements in Tunisia, co-authored with Dr. Teresa Barton. Jules and Barton trace the development of Tunisia’s educational system to the 2010/2011 contestatory events that led to the Tunisian Revolution and embarked on a period of large-scale institutional reform, including education sector reform. This post-Revolutionary reform has primarily been concerned with providing young Tunisian citizens with the necessary skills for a rapidly changing job market.  In his presentation, Jules engages with the issue of how a strong educational system produced generations of educated citizens, but whose most recent generation is frustrated by a weakened socio-economic system unable to absorb a young and educated workforce.  The book itself traces the history and evolution of Tunisia’s educational system since independence in 1956 to the contemporary period,  and ties its analysis to an « educational transitologies framework ». Through several chapters, the book engages and explores themes related to education, including security, gender, political Islam and social movements and analyses these comparatively pre- and post-political transition which commenced in 2011. 

In this podcast, Dr. Jules was invited to answer a number of questions touching upon the following themes : 
  • Definition of the concept of conscientization and its importance to understand the role of education.
  • The common link that the book draws between education and Islam, security and social movements. 
  • The book’s methodology to study 'educational transitologies' and what the example of Tunisia tells us about this theoretical framework. 
Dr. Tavis D. Jules is Associate Professor in Cultural and Educational Policy at Loyola University, specializing in Comparative and International Education. His research interests include, regionalism and governance, transitory spaces, and policy challenges in small island developing states (SIDS).

CEMAT Assistant Director Dr. Meriem Guetat, CEMAT led the interview, which was recorded as part of the Contemporary Thought series on December 13th, 2018 at the Centre d'Études Maghrébines à Tunis (CEMAT).

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We thank the duo Ÿuma for use of their song, "Laya Snin", from their album Ghbar Njoum for the introduction and conclusion of this podcast.

Posted by Hayet Lansari, Librarian, Outreach Coordinator, Content Curator (CEMA).

Suggested Readings

Alexander, Christopher. 2010. Tunisia: Stability and reform in the modern Maghreb. New York: Routledge.

Aleya-Sghaier, Amira. 2012. "The Tunisian revolution: The revolution of dignity." Journal of the Middle East and Africa, Vol. 3: 18–45.

Anderson, Lisa. 1986. The State and Social Transformation in Tunisia and Libya (1830–1980). Princeton: Princeton University Press.

Bayat, Assef. 2010. Life as Politics: How Ordinary people change the Middle East. Stanford: Stanford University Press.

Borowiec, Andrew. 1998. Modern Tunisia: A Democratic Apprenticeship. Westport: Praeger.

Clancy-Smith, Julia. 2013. "From Sidi Bou Zid to Sidi Bou Said : A Longue Durée Approach to the Tunisian Revolutions." In David W. Lesch and Mark L. Haas, Eds. The Arab Spring : Change and Resistance in the Middle East. Boulder: Westview Press: 13–34.

Cowen, Robert. 2000. Fine Tuning Educational Earthquakes. Education in Times of Transition: World Yearbook of Education 2000. London: Kogan Page.

El-Mesawi, Mohamed El-Tahir. 2008. "Muslim Reformist Action in Nineteenth-Century Tunisia." The American Journal of Islamic Social Sciences. 25(2): 49–82.

Fryer, Landis G. and Tavis D. Jules. 2013. "Transitory Policy Spaces and Educational Development in the Maghreb Region: Higher Education in Post-Revolutionary Tunisia." In Alexander W. Wiseman and Charl. C. Wolhuter, Eds. The Development of Higher Education in Africa: Prospects and Challenges. Bingley: Emerald Publishing: 401-426.

Lange, Matthew. 2013. "Comparative-Historical Methods: An introduction." In Matthew Lange, Ed. Comparative-Historical Methods. New York: Sage Publications: 1-21.

Tullock, Gordon. 1987. Autocracy. Dordrecht: Springer.

Vavrus, Frances and Bartlett, Lesley. 2006. "Comparatively Knowing : Making a Case for the Vertical Case Study." Current Issues in Comparative Education. 8(2): 95–103.