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The role of security assistance in reconfiguring Tunisia's transition.

Maryon, Rosa 2023. The role of security assistance in reconfiguring Tunisia's transition. Mediterranean Politics 10.1080/13629395.2023.2183666

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In many contexts in the Mediterranean, Security Assistance (SA) is perceived to have contributed to state fracture or prolonged conflict. In Tunisia, in contrast, SA has increased the performance and capacities of the security forces in matters of counterterrorism and migration control. However, in this article, by analysing SA’s reordering impacts, I argue that it has interacted with political developments to reconfigure Tunisia’s volatile political landscape in two ways. Firstly, SA programmes have acted to reinforce the coercive capacities of Tunisia’s security forces vis-à-vis the general population. Secondly, vertical SA practices contributed to the reconfiguration of power dynamics between different actors in Tunisia’s security sector, helping consolidate power in the increasingly authoritarian hands of the executive as well as the increasingly politicized security forces. Furthermore, in the final section of this article, I reflect upon the entanglements between security assistance, Tunisian political economy and the economic interests of many provider states. In doing so, I make the case for a ‘recoupling’ of security studies and political economy in analysis of external interventions in the Mediterranean to better understand their reordering impacts.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Published Online
Status: In Press
Schools: Law
Publisher: Taylor and Francis Group
ISSN: 1362-9395
Funders: ESRC
Date of First Compliant Deposit: 28 June 2023
Date of Acceptance: 16 February 2023
Last Modified: 06 Sep 2023 19:03

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