Crony capitalism became firmly embedded under Ben Ali, benefiting his family and close friends.
Western perceptions of what's happening in Tunisia differ sharply with Tunisia's daily reality: the truth is that its political transformation is in trouble.
Algeria's elite has built its legitimacy on a distorted memory of the war of independence.
Mass demonstrations in Tunisia indicate anger over the government's decision to raise taxes, but its more complex.
Seven years after Ben Ali was deposed, Tunisians feel little happier with their lot.