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Transatlantic Dialogue

September 24 | 10:00 AM EDT | 16:00 CEST

Fragmentation and Clientelism:

Assessing the Reform Potential in Lebanon and Tunisia


Transatlantic Dialogue

Fragmentation and Clientelism: Assessing Reform Potential in Lebanon and Tunisia

September 24, 2020 | 10:00 - 11:00 AM EDT | 16:00 - 17:00 CEST

Lebanon and Tunisia are the only Arab countries that the Transformation Index BTI 2020 classifies as (highly) defective democracies. Still, institutional performance is rather deficient and the integrity of political decision-makers significantly compromised. The discrepancy in both countries is glaring: on the one hand an active and vocal civil society, on the other hand a fractured parliament and dysfunctional institutions obstructing democratic progress. The regional results of the BTI will set the scene for sounding out the potential for reform and democratization.

With experts from Lebanon and Tunisia, we discuss how institutional gridlock can be overcome. For this, the experts will follow a three-step approach: by outlining the current situation in their countries, by analyzing the underlying causes for reform blockades and by commenting on each other’s development and using this “mirror-image” for political advice.


Amine Ghali
Kawakibi Democracy Transition Center, Tunis

Maha Yahya
Carnegie Middle East Center, Beirut

Jan Claudius Völkel (Introduction)
Senior Researcher
Arnold Bergstraesser Institute, Freiburg
BTI Regional Coordinator Middle East and North Africa


Anthony Silberfeld
Director, Transatlantic Relations
Bertelsmann Foundation

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Project Manager

Sustainable Social Market Economies


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