In the aftermath of the controversial July 25 referendum on President Kaïs Saïed’s autocratic constitution, please join us for a conversation with two leading experts on Tunisia, Mohamed-Dhia Hammami and Monica Marks. The panel will discuss the conduct and legitimacy of the referendum, whether Saïed will succeed in his plans to install a new dictatorship, the landscape of opposition and resistance to Saïed, and what this all means for the country’s worsening economic conditions and its stability.




  • Mohamed-Dhia Hammami
    Independent Researcher and Analyst
  • Monica Marks
    Professor of Middle East Politics, New York University Abu Dhabi (NYUAD)


  • Amy Hawthorne
    Deputy Director for Research, POMED


Mohamed-Dhia Hammami is a Ph.D. student in Political Science at Syracuse University’s Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs. He works on political, security and business elites in Tunisia. Mr. Hammami participated in the 2011 revolution, contributed to drafting the 2014 Constitution as a parliamentary assistant in the National Constituent Assembly, and wrote on corruption and other natural resources-related issues as a journalist and research consultant. Mr. Hammami received his BA from Wesleyan University. He previously studied mathematics at the University of Tunis and the University of Carthage.

Monica Marks is a professor of Middle East politics at New York University Abu Dhabi (NYUAD) and a scholar of Islamist movements, gender, and politics in the Middle East and North Africa. Her research focuses on broad topics across the region and beyond, but especially in regard to the tensions between pluralism and state power in the two countries where she’s lived longest: Tunisia and Turkey. Dr. Marks studied in Tanzania, Tunisia, and Jordan, and in Turkey as a Fulbright Scholar before completing her Masters and PhD at Oxford University where she was a Rhodes Scholar. Her PhD dissertation was an ethnographic study of post-2011 Tunisian politics based on over 1,200 in-country interviews.

Amy Hawthorne (moderator) is the Deputy Director for Research at POMED where she oversees the organization’s publications on Tunisia. Prior to her position at POMED, Amy served as Resident Senior Fellow with the Atlantic Council, where she worked on the U.S.-EU response to Tunisia’s democratization process, and as an appointee at the State Department, where she worked on U.S. policy toward Egypt and Tunisia following the 2011 uprisings.


Photo Credit: Amine Ghrabi on Flickr (people with hands raised), Présidence Tunisie on Facebook (Kaïs Saïed)