Whose justice? Youth, reconciliation, and the state in post-Ben Ali Tunisia

Aymen Belhadj, Arnaud Kurze

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


Human rights and transitional justice studies have increasingly homed in on the role of civil society. However, literature on marginalized actors, such as youth, still remains limited. This article examines the impact of youth activism aimed at promoting sustainable accountability efforts in the aftermath of initial reckoning with violence and repression. Drawing on more than two dozen interviews and conceptual elements of broader transition literature, this research maps the advocacy work of a youth movement, Manich Msamah, in post-Ben Ali Tunisia. Focusing on the passage of controversial legislation (the law on administrative reconciliation), the authors argue that, despite a politicization of transitional justice measures, youth activism succeeded in influencing institutionalized practices and shaping the legislative agenda-setting process. Youth activists have introduced new transitional justice tropes, particularly concepts of social and economic justice, to society. The broader participatory impact of youth in Tunisia remains nonetheless uncertain.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)356-372
Number of pages17
JournalJournal of Human Rights
Issue number3
StatePublished - 2021


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