The Tunisian uprising led to a massive expansion of new civil society organizations. The institutional framework has become more favourable for civic engagement as Tunisian institutions, supported by their international partners, have evolved to comply with liberal legislation guaranteeing public freedoms. After taking an active part in confronting regime structures, youth experienced civic engagement by creating their own organizations after the revolution. Can this involvement in civil society organizations represent an enabling factor towards political, social and economic inclusion? This can happen either as the result of an empowering process that strengthens an individuals’ capacity to take part in a given system or from an emancipating process that challenges the inequality of the specific order. The question this paper aims to address is whether the civic engagement of youth in NGOs is an appropriate channel for their political, social and economic integration or for defying domination relationships based on gender, class and generation. The study and its empirical data are drawn from an ethnographic research conducted since 2011 among civil society organizations in Tozeur, the capital of one of the south-west governorates of Tunisia.
1. Conditions to Overcome Class-Generation-Gender Based Constraints with Regard to Organization Foundation
1.1 The Case of CHABBAB: Class Based Domination Wiped by the Revolution?
1.2 The Case of AFAK: Opportunism and Class Distinction
1.3 The Case of ETTIFAL: Facing Gender Based Exclusion
1.4 Intermediate Conclusion
2. Resource Mobilization to Participate in Public Arenas and Gain Autonomy
2.1 The Case of CHABBAB: Between Cooptation and Autonomy from UGTT
2.2 The Case of AFAK: Dual Role for Brokering Activities
2.3 The Case of ETTIFAL: Adapting to Persistent Exclusion
2.4 Intermediate Conclusion