The 1970s and 1980s saw a new genre of popular protest - its spirit would be felt even in 2011 when protests toppled a dictator.
Those who conduct business in Tunisia consider it a low-risk security environment compared to some of its neighbours in North Africa and the Middle East.
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.