Drivers of conflict in Tunisia: An annotated bibliography


Conduct a rapid evidence mapping to produce a short annotated bibliography to inform a conflict analysis of Tunisia.


Tunisia has witnessed an increase in conflict activity in recent years, both in the form of violent political protest and acts of violence perpetrated by armed jihadist groups. This report identifies some of the key literature on drivers of conflict in Tunisia, looking at both short-term and structural factors.

The literature included in this report identifies the following drivers of conflict:

  • Socio-economic factors: The literature identifies a number of socio-economic factors, both structural and short-term, which serve as drivers of conflict in Tunisia. Particular emphasis is placed on the economy. Corruption is widespread, and unemployment levels, particularly among youth and in marginalised areas, are high. This has led to ongoing popular unrest, which shows little sign of abating.
  • Religious extremism: There has been an increase in jihadist violence in Tunisia since the fall of former President, Ben Ali. In recent years armed jihadist groups have joined forces with criminal elements posing a greater security threat. While jihadist groups are fragmented, the lack of a national strategy to counter violent extremism hinders the government’s ability to deal with armed Islamist actors effectively.
  • Political reform, security sector reform, and transitional justice: A lack of consensus on transitional justice among political actors hinders the government’s ability to effectively tackle issues like corruption.
  • Marginalised and insecure border areas: Insecurity in Tunisia’s border areas stems from the ongoing conflict in Libya, and from criminal elements engaged in trafficking and smuggling. Trans-national armed extremist groups also pose a threat to security.

The literature included in this report includes both English and French language reports.


Suggested citation

Strachan, A.L. (2017). Drivers of conflict in Tunisia: An annotated bibliography. K4D Helpdesk Report. Brighton, UK: Institute of Development Studies.