European University Institute, Max Weber Programme, July 2017

Since the uprising in 2011, Tunisia is seen as a political lab whose experiences impact the entire region. The return to the political scene of the of the Islamists of the Ennahdha Party, and their democratic ascension to power, came as a surprise, if not a shock, to many international and local observers. The party became a key actor beyond national borders and took a step further by marking its 10th Congress with the announcement of the separation of its political and religious activities. The Tunisian experience is represented as an example for other Islamist parties so should we see the secularization of Ennahdha’s discourse as being at the forefront of the Islamist movement? Or has the party already gone beyond Islamism, and in fact created a rupture with other Islamist parties? Re-branding does not imply a change in ideology but a change of perception, inside and outside the party. This analysis looks at the perception of the reform intended by Ennahdha from the point of view of foreign Islamist parties in the context of the 10th Party Congress in May 2016.

View the article at the European University Institute.

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