Religion, Revolution and Constitution: The Case of Tunisia


Monday, September 17, 2012, 4:00pm to 6:00pm


CGIS, South Bldg, Room S020, Belfer Case Study Room, 1730 Cambridge Street, Cambridge, MA 02138

Yadh Ben Achour is a Tunisian constitutionalist specializing in Islamic political theory.  He hails from a theological background, as Ben Achour’s father is the late Mohamed Fadhel Ben Achour, a great religious figure in Tunisia who held the position of Dean of the Faculty of Sharia and Theology at the former University of Zaytuna, and who later became a Mufti. Ben Achour completed primary and secondary school in Tunis, before enrolling in the University of Paris, where he received a Master’s of Law, a Diploma of Advanced Studies in Public Law, a Diploma of Higher Studies in Political Science, and later a PhD in Law in 1974. After completing his education, Ben Achour held several  academic positions, including Dean of the Faculty of Legal, Political, and Social Sciences of Tunis (1993-1999).

During the presidency of the late Habib Bourguiba, Ben Achour was appointed a member of the Economic and Social Council, and he later was appointed by the ousted President Zine El Abidine Ben Ali as a member of the Constitutional Court in 1991. He resigned from this position in 1992, however, when the former Tunisian President sought to impose a law designed to stifle the Tunisian League for Human Rights. During the period of Ben Ali’s governance, Ben Achour was one of the ex-President’s more outspoken opponents.

In early 2011 following the Tunisian revolution, Ben Achour was appointed Head of the High Authority for the Achievement of the Revolution Objectives (HAARO) — the commission responsible for constitutional reform post-revolution.


Presented by the CMES Working Group on Arab Transformative Movements. This event is open to the public; no registration required.


Contact: Liz Flanagan

Sponsor(s): Made possible with support from the Dean of the Faculty of Arts and Sciences, the Dean of the Division of Social Science, and the Donald T. Regan Lecture Fund.