Project: Tunisian Transition Oral History
In February 24, 2015, Mehdi Jomaa addressed Columbia University's World Leaders Forum. Following this event, the Office of University President Lee Bollinger approached the Columbia Center for Oral History Research at INCITE (Interdisciplinary Center for Innovative Theory and Empirics) to discuss undertaking an oral history project about Tunisia's 2014-2015 technocratic government. The oral history project that grew from this discussion had two objectives: (1) To document and interpret the events of revolutionary and transitional Tunisia (late 2010 to late 2015) from the perspective of prominent transition leaders in the technical government and in civil society, and (2) To understand the technical government as "answer" to outstanding revolutionary demands; and how it was implemented and functioned.
The collection's 38 interviews document the Tunisian revolution (2010-2011) and the period of the transitional governments (2011-2014), with a particular emphasis on the technocratic government of Prime Minister Mehdi Jomaa (January 2014-December 2015). Consistent with the composition of the technocratic government that it documents, the collection's narrators come from a wide range of expertise: businesspeople, union leaders, NGO leaders, human rights advocates, and bureaucrats in the areas of security, education, economics, and more.