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Divided RuleSovereignty and Empire in French Tunisia, 1881-1938$
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Mary Dewhurst Lewis

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9780520279155

Published to California Scholarship Online: May 2014

DOI: 10.1525/california/9780520279155.001.0001

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Conclusion and Epilogue

Conclusion and Epilogue

From Cosovereignty to Independence

(p.165) Conclusion and Epilogue
Divided Rule

Mary Dewhurst Lewis

University of California Press

After the Second World War, the question of Tunisia’s sovereignty was even more contentious than before, with settlers insisting on incorporating Tunisia into the new commonwealth called the French Union and nationalists led by Bourguiba and the Neo-Destour demanding greater Tunisian autonomy and eventually full independence. This concluding chapter takes readers up to the moment of independence in March 1956 and shows how the decolonization and postcolonial state-building process unfolded in the context of longstanding conflicts over sovereignty that had predated the war and contributed to the governmental instability of the French Fourth Republic. It also reflects on connections to present-day debates about Tunisia’s democratic future in the wake of the Arab Spring.

Keywords:   independence, autonomy, French Union, Habib Bourguiba, Neo-Destour, postcolonial state-building, decolonization, Arab Spring, Second World War, Fourth Republic

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