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Alfred Deakin Institute works to strengthen Tunisian democracy

Alfred Deakin Institute works to strengthen Tunisian democracy

Democracy education in Tunisia – building capacity among youth leaders.

Ten young Tunisian leaders, who are seen as potential change agents in the area of civic and democracy education, will visit Australia and the Alfred Deakin Institute for Citizenship and Globalisation next week, as part of a project aimed at building resilience in Tunisian democracy efforts.

The visit is part of the “Democracy Education in Tunisia – Building Capacity among Youth Leaders” project. It is being led by the UNESCO Chair for Comparative Research on Cultural Diversity and Social Justice, and Director of the Alfred Deakin Institute for Citizenship and Globalisation, Professor Fethi Mansouri.

The project is being funded by the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade through the Council of Australian-Arab Relations (CAAR) and run in partnership with the International Institute for Democracy and Electoral Assistance (International IDEA).

Professor Mansouri said the young people will participate in a range of interactive workshops, focus groups and critical evaluations during the week 27 November – 1 December. These activities aim to build capacity and increase participants’ understanding of how institutions work in an established democracy.

“The workshops will also build their skills in the political process and policy making,” Professor Mansouri said.

“Democratic transition following prolonged periods of non-democratic governance is a complex and unpredictable process at the best of times.

“Yet, Tunisia remains the only Arab Spring country to emerge as a stable and functioning democracy with successive orderly elections, a new and highly progressive constitution and broader progress towards further political reform.

“To continue its successful journey, the country needs international support, and institutional and leadership resilience, but also to train the leaders of tomorrow. This is what this program hopes to foster.

“The workshops draw on the Institute’s expertise in youth and civic engagement and will make a significant contribution in an area of critical need for Tunisia as it prepares for the 2017 municipal elections.”

Professor Mansouri said the select group had been recruited through partner organisations in Tunisia, including International IDEA, who are involved in significant work around democracy education among youth in Tunisia and across the region.

“While much of the program is not open to the public, the first part will be,” he said.

“Their week will start at 9.30am, Monday, November 27 at Burwood Corporate Centre, with a public seminar by Prof Michael Leach from Swinburne University.

“A public round table panel discussion will be held with the Tunisian participants from 10 am on Wednesday November 29 at Deakin Downtown.


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