In Revolutionary Tunisia: Inequality, Marginality, and Power, Stefano Pontiggia examines marginality and inequality in Tunisia through the stories of people living in Redeyef, a mining town in the Tunisian south that is well known for its militant past. Considering the ongoing formation of the post-revolutionary Tunisian state, Pontiggia explores the extent to which state-led institutions, local power relations, the social structure, and the dynamics of space production coincide to perpetuate inequality. Far from being a process of exclusion from wealth and development, Pontiggia asserts, marginality is instead synonymous with a gradual integration of territories and populations into a socio-territorial hierarchy that is rooted in the colonial experience. What emerges is a country whose revolution is characterized by change as much as continuity with the past.
Stefano Pontiggia is post-doctoral fellow at Politecnico di Milano and adjunct professor at Verona Academy of Fine Arts.
Chapter 1: Dust
Chapter 2: Margins
Chapter 3: Mines
Chapter 4: Boredom
Chapter 5: Elections
Chapter 6: Money
Chapter 7: Tents
Conclusion: The State
Revolutionary Tunisia: Inequality, Marginality, and Power is a must-read for anyone in search of a greater understanding of marginality. Stefano Pontiggia offers a nuanced and highly informative study of how a poor mining town in Southern Tunisia suffered unemployment and desolation due to exploitation and severe neglect by the state combined with repression of protests. Using ethnography, political economy, and history, Pontiggia shows how marginality results from several intertwining processes. This book is an important contribution to the scholarly literature on the topic of territorial inequality within a nation-state
Stefano Pontiggia's book gives us a rare and welcome insight into the social and political dynamics of the marginalized areas of Tunisia, with a particular focus on Redeyef. His is an exceptionally acute analysis. It shows an empathetic understanding of the lives and aspirations of those who try to make a living there. But Pontiggia also builds on this to provide a series of telling perspectives into the history and political economy of the region, as well as into the nature of the Tunisian state experienced at its margins.