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Part III Decentralisation, Local Government, and Constitutionalism, 16 Progress and Pitfalls in Constitutional Reform: Decentralisation in the Wake of the Arab Spring in Egypt and Tunisia

Sherif A. Elgebeily

From: Decentralisation and Constitutionalism in Africa

Edited By: Charles M. Fombad, Nico Steytler

From: Oxford Constitutions (http://oxcon.ouplaw.com). (c) Oxford University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved.date: 16 January 2021

This chapter examines whether the French model of deconcentrated power at local level has undergone fundamental change in the countries under study: Egypt and Tunisia. Two contrasting pictures emerge: in all cases except Tunisia, the Arab Spring appears to have been an exercise in futility, as neighbouring countries are either embroiled in civil war or, as in the case of Egypt, have regressed into totalitarian regimes. Decentralisation in these countries appeared initially to offer an alternative means to wholesale regime change, and, in theory at least, allow citizens to become more involved in the political process, the priorities of their local communities, and the local economy. However, while Egypt has been taking steps towards recentralisation instead, Tunisia appears to be on the cusp of implementing a sustainable model of decentralisation.

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