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Charis Boutieri

Dr Charis Boutieri

Senior Lecturer in Social Anthropology

  • PARC Chair 2023-2024
  • British Academy Mid-Career Fellow 2021-2022


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.

In 2021, Charis was awarded a British Academy Mid-Career Fellowship to complete her second major research project and manuscript My Word is Free (Klemti Horra): The Tunisian Public Sphere between Revolution and Democracy. The 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: a) Map out the pedagogical – disciplinary – practices that shape processes of public deliberation in the country b) Explore the localised and often contradictory enactments of democracy on the ground through the lenses of class, generation, and gender and religious difference c) 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. The project brings to light the meeting of social practices, cultural histories, and regulatory mechanisms that constitute the terrain of the negotiation of both revolution and 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. Some of the findings of the project have already been published in History & Anthropology and the Cambridge Journal of Anthropology.

Beyond her individual research projects, Charis has systematically engaged in collaborative projects supported by grant funding:

  1. In 2019, she was awarded a King’s Together Fund with Prof. Humeira Iqtidar (DPE) to conduct a pilot project titled “Justice in non-Liberal Polities”.
  2. In 2020, she joined the Collaborative Interdisciplinary Team of Experts of the ERC-funded project “Takhayyul” that aims to explore the political effects of imagination in Muslim societies (For more info, visit:
  3. In September 2023, Charis will lead the UK work-package of the 5-year-lond ERC-funded project “Praxis of Coexistence” that seeks to understand how people handle diversity spontaneously through praxis. Her contribution builds on her long-term interest in non-liberal public reason, namely forms of reasoning that endorse pluralism but move beyond the liberal framework.
  4. In September 2024, Charis will co-organize a workshop on “Public reason and Coexistence in the Mediterranean” funded by the Wenner-Gren Foundation.

Charis has served as associate editor the Journal of North African Studies (2017-2022) and as treasurer of the Middle East Section at the American Anthropology Association (AAA) (2016-2019). She has disseminated her research findings in her capacity as 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

Boutieri, C. 2023. The Languages of Democracy in Post-2011 Tunisia. In Chafer, T., & Majumdar, M.A. (Eds.). Routledge Handbook of Francophone Africa. Routledge.

Boutieri, C., 2023. Events of citizenship: Left militantism and the returns of revolution in Tunisia. History and Anthropology, 34(2), pp.175-193.

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. 


  • The Social Life of Revolution and Democracy
  • Publics and the Public Sphere
  • Non-liberal democratic aspirations
  • Youth
  • North Africa and the Middle East



Academic to help lead on new coexistence research project

A King’s academic is part of a team working on a new project that will examine and seek to understand how coexistence is practised in society.



Academic to help lead on new coexistence research project

A King’s academic is part of a team working on a new project that will examine and seek to understand how coexistence is practised in society.