Elissa Miller

  • Hopes and Challenges as Tunisia Goes to the Polls

    Tunisians will go to the polls to vote in the country’s first municipal elections on May 6. The vote is an important milestone in the country’s democratic transition and decentralization process; which aims to bridge the gap between the central government in Tunis and the Tunisian people.

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  • Miller Quoted in Al Bawaba on the Impact of General Haftar's Death on Libya


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  • Can Libya Survive Without Haftar?

    Libya was thrown into further flux this past week amid reports of the death of Field Marshal Khalifa Haftar. His exact condition remains unclear; Haftar was reportedly hospitalized in Jordan after suffering a stroke before falling into a coma after his transfer to a hospital in France. Other sources reported that eastern strongman passed away while in Paris. Reports of his death, while unconfirmed, will significantly impact the calculus of Libya’s major players, both domestically and regionally. Haftar’s death could serve as an opportunity to revive political dialogue, but it could also trigger an escalated conflict between Libya’s competing factions that would further fragment the country.  

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  • Miller Quoted in The New Yorker on Egypt's Election


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  • In Egypt, Voter Turnout Falls Short

    Evidenced by low voter turnout in the presidential election, Egypt’s optimism after the 2011 revolution that ousted strongman Hosni Mubarak has been replaced by apathy amid the rule of a new strongman, President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi.

    In Egypt’s third presidential election since the revolution, Sisi ran for his second term as president in the voting that occurred over three days, from March 26-28. After the 2014 election in which Sisi won close to 97 percent of the vote, his victory this time around is all but guaranteed. Sisi’s sole opponent at the polls is the leader of the centrist Ghad party Moussa Mostafa Moussa. However, even Moussa endorsed Sisi before entering the race at the last minute and was widely viewed as a hollow candidate placed on the ballot so that Sisi would not run unopposed.

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  • How Legal Reform Can Drive Social Change for Women in Tunisia

    While women in the Middle East and North Africa still face critical challenges, it is worth noting recent progress on the occasion of international women’s day. Many countries across the Middle East have taken recent steps to codify certain rights for their female citizens. With the introduction of quotas for their legislative bodies, female representation in parliament in Algeria, Morocco, and Tunisia has jumped since 2011. Last year, lawmakers in Tunisia, Jordan, and Lebanon repealed provisions in their penal codes allowing rapists to escape punishment by marrying their victims. Even Saudi Arabia has taken a progressive step and issued a royal decree in September 2017 allowing women to drive.

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  • Miller in Journal of Middle Eastern Politics and Policy: The Cycle of Crime and Civil War in Libya


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  • Miller in The Cairo Review of Global Affairs: Flawed Diplomacy in Libya


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  • What’s Next? Seven Years After Tunisia’s Spring

    Seven years after the 2011 Arab uprisings, Tunisia remains the only country to have emerged from the sweeping changes that took hold in the region as a fledgling democracy. Since then-President Zine El-Abidine Ben Ali stepped down from power of January 14, 2011, Tunisia has accomplished a number of major successes, including holding free and fair national elections, fostering political compromise, implementing reforms to institute equal protection for men and women under the law, and making progress on freedoms of expression and belief. Economic challenges and political setbacks, however, could upset Tunisia’s advances.

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  • Tunisia’s Democracy: Between Economic Reform and Public Engagement

    Tunisia’s transition to democracy is in a difficult spot: the public is frustrated with the political and economic situation, but the political elite are shying away from needed public engagement. Two recent events stand out: the 2018 draft budget law put forward this month and the recent postponement of the local elections to next year. By postponing the elections, Tunisian politicians forwent an opportunity to engage the citizenry at a time when that dialogue will be critical—as the government begins to implement economic reforms that are expected to grow its economy, changes will also bring layoffs and tax hikes to a population already largely dissatisfied with its government’s performance.

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