Political Islam in TunisiaThe History of Ennahda by Anne Wolf

Updated: Dec 11, 2018



One of the most interesting books this summer may be a rather innocuous book by Anne Wolf, a leading Tunisia and North Africa specialist. In Political Islam in Tunisia: A History of Ennahda, Wolf, a University of Oxford researcher, presents the hidden history of Ennahda, Tunisia’s main Islamist movement, from the 1960s until the post-revolution present. Before the popular uprisings of 2011and the overthrow of then President Ben Ali, Ennahda was banned and barely researched. Based on more than four years of field research, and over 400 interviews, as well as access to private archives, Wolf’s account reveals in unprecedented detail one of Tunisia’s most influential political actors. Wolf tracks the evolution of Ennahda’s ideological and strategic orientations within the local turbulence of Tunisia's political contexts. As the first full history of Ennahda, the book ought to be rightfully lauded as a major contribution to literature on Tunisia, Islamist movements in general, and more broadly political Islam in the Arab world. It is an essential read for anyone who wishes to understand why Tunisia, hitherto at least, remains the last revolution standing from the Arab Spring

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