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By Gregory White

Examines how emerging financial integration with Europe affects Tunisia and Morocco.

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57 As we will see with Tunisia’s deepening repression in the 1990s, the state in middle-income countries must be doubly prudent in its attempts to craft development strategies and to adjust to exogenous changes in a proximate country or bloc of countries upon which it depends. State elites need to navigate between the problems posed by an open economy vulnerable to exogenous shocks and the challenges posed by societal interests affected by changes in development strategy. State elites in middle-income countries craft policy choices in this context.

In addition, Tunisia has exhibited a greater degree of popular mobilization since independence. 29 The close ties between state elites in the PSD and their supporters among the rural elite in the Sahel provided a means of popular mobilization and legitimacy. In turn, rural constituencies received crucial patronage from the party. This is not to say that Tunisia’s regime enjoyed wholesale popularity or has not moved to eliminate political opposition. Bourguiba banned the Communist Party (PCT) in 1963, and the PSD became increasingly authoritarian after the 1974 party congress.

State elites need to navigate between the problems posed by an open economy vulnerable to exogenous shocks and the challenges posed by societal interests affected by changes in development strategy. State elites in middle-income countries craft policy choices in this context. Thus, the analyst needs to clarify the “structural constraints” facing Middle-Income Countries and the Politics of Economic Change 21 the state—that is, the domestic and international circumstances that remain consistent over time and that limit policy choices.

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