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Fellows 2017


City University of New York

Bucerius Ph.D. Fellow

Questioning Democracy: Youth, Citizenship, and the Desired State in Post-Revolutionary Tunisia


This research project aims to examine citizenship as a discourse and a set of practices that circulate amongst various NGOs, state agencies, and youth-led social movements. Taking an ethnographic and historical approach, it examines how marginalized Tunisians, particularly in the interior and southern provinces of the country, stake claims to rights and articulate belonging in Tunisia against the backdrop of the 2010 Revolution and the history of the post-colonial nation-state. The goal is to contribute more broadly to understandings of the state as a historically contingent construct and to critical analyses of youth marginality as embedded in national as well as global structures of inequalities. Taking the specificity of the post-revolutionary moment in Tunisia, the project questions the teleological narrative of the triumphant progress of democratization by bringing into view its fault lines and marginalized subjects.

Ola Galal is a Ph.D. student in Cultural Anthropology at the Graduate Center, City University of New York. Her research focuses on marginalization and conceptions of citizenship rights and of democracy in Tunisia. She wrote her M.A. thesis on youth participation in the 2011 Egyptian Revolution. Previously, she worked as a journalist covering political and economic stories in North Africa and the Middle East for Bloomberg News.

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