This article analyzes the political transitions in Tunisia, Egypt, and Libya after the Arab Spring. While they share similarities regarding the overthrow of their long-lasting regimes, each country followed different trajectories. Early in the process, Tunisia underwent a smooth transformation, while Egypt witnessed intense polarization following the electoral success of the Muslim Brotherhood—and authoritarianism with the military coup two years later. Different from those two, Libya came to the brink of failure with a civil war, and the country still suffers from rampant violence. The article contends that Tunisia's success in the transition toward democracy lies in its relative homogeneity, consensus-building, and civil-military relations. The focus of the article is on the initial transitions. Tunisia's process appears to have stalled, and future study will be required to understand how such states can consolidate their democratic transitions.
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