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Charis Boutieri was educated at the University of Oxford (BA), The London School of Economics and Political Science (MSc), and Princeton University (PhD). Her earlier research addressed knowledge production and dissemination in North Africa with special attention to the imbrication of colonial, nationalist, and international development agendas. This work produced the monograph Learning in Morocco: Language Politics and the Abandoned Educational Dream (Indiana University Press, 2016) and a number of articles in both peer-reviewed and non-academic online publications.

Charis has recently been awarded a British Academy Mid-Career Fellowship that will allow her to complete her second major research project and manuscript. This project examines the interaction between democracy promotion and agonistic politics in post-revolutionary Tunisia. Embedded in the landscape of civic activism and civic training, this work is informed by a threefold goal: 1) Map out the pedagogical – disciplinary – practices that shape processes of public deliberation in the country 2) Explore the localised and often contradictory enactments of democracy on the ground through the lenses of class, generation, and gender and religious difference 3) Contribute to our knowledge about the social relations that emerge at the intersection of neoliberal expansion and liberal representative democracy in a space of political transition. Charis intends to bring to light the intersection of social practices, cultural histories, and regulatory mechanisms that constitute the terrain of the negotiation of democracy.

The project is based on fieldwork conducted in Tunisia between 2013 and 2016 and has been kindly supported by a Leverhulme Trust Fellowship (RF-2014-721), a King’s College London School of Arts and Humanities Seed Fund, and a King’s College London Faculty of Social Science and Public Policy Research Grant. Parts of the project have already been published in History & Anthropology and the Cambridge Journal of Anthropology.

Charis has recently engaged in collaborative projects supported by grant funding. In 2019, she was awarded a King’s Together Fund with colleague Dr Humeira Iqtidar from DPE on a pilot project titled 'Justice in non-Liberal Polities'. In 2020, she joined the Collaborative Interdisciplinary Team of Experts of the ERC-funded project 'Takhayyul' hosted by the Institute of Global Prosperity, UCL. For more info, visit:

Charis is associate editor the Journal of North African Studies and has served as treasurer of the Middle East Section at the American Anthropology Association (AAA) from 2016-2019. She is a regularly invited expert at the British Council (Tunisia and UK) and the FCO MENA Research Unit. In 2018, she joined the UK-Tunisia Higher Education and Scientific Research Joint Commission.

Latest publications

Charis Boutieri (2020) Events of citizenship: Left militantism and the returns of revolution in Tunisia, History & Anthropology, DOI: 10.1080/02757206.2020.1862104

Boutieri, C., 2021. The Democratic Grotesque: Distortion, Liminality, and Dissensus in Post-Revolutionary Tunisia. The Cambridge Journal of Anthropology, 39(2), pp.59-77

Boutieri, C., 2020. Bastardy and Irreverence: The Injuries of Kinship in Post-Revolutionary Tunisia, Hespéris-Tamuda 52(4), pp. 131-149.

Boutieri, C., 2018. On Democratic Glossaries:‘Soft Power’ and Hard Markets in Post-Revolutionary Tunisia. The Journal of North African Studies, 23(3), pp.378-398.

Baldinetti, A. & C. Boutieri. 2018. National identities after 2011: Interrogating the Politics of Culture and Relations of Soft Power in the Maghrib, The Journal of North African Studies, 23(3), pp. 373-377

Boutieri, C. 2016. Learning in Morocco: Language Politics and the Abandoned Educational Dream. Bloomington: Indiana University Press.


  • Democracy, Democracy Promotion, Democratization
  • Revolution
  • Non-liberal democratic aspirations
  • Civil Society
  • Youth
  • Multiculturalism
  • North Africa and the Middle East