In Tunisia, there is democracy but the parallel state is the real power… and source of unrest
The essential problem right now in Tunisia – and for democracy practitioners and academics as a matter of research and approach – is that 3/4 of the population is democratically represented by the four main parties in power… but these four parties actually have very little hard power to break the power of the parallel state made up of the police-business monopolists-mafia.
Without breaking this decades old triangle, the new democratic institutions of the country cannot hope to deliver socio-economic benefits to their constituents… and they cannot reform the security sector to actually protect the country and their constituents from terrorists and insurgents.
This is the crux of the problem and the reason why, without a major international-Tunisian effort aimed at the parallel state, it is doubtful that the country can escape a further descent into violence, insurgency, economic collapse and wide social unrest.
The liklihood of muddling through as a kind of corrupt, kind of democratic state – but one that doesn’t collapse – is rapidly receding.