For all the excitement surrounding Tunisia's Jasmine Revolution and its intellectual progeny in Egypt and elsewhere, there are a number of factors that portend against the successful consolidation of democracy post revolution.
A litmus test of democracy is civilian control of the military enshrined in the constitution and exercised through representative institutions, a test which to date no Arab state has passed. So how close is Tunisia now?
Food prices have already sparked riots in Algeria and mass protests in Tunisia. We haven't seen the last of resource revolts which, in the coming years, could reach an intensity we scarcely imagine today.
The Tunisian people's revolution provides practical insights into the prerequisites for dismantling dictatorships in Africa. The first lesson is that when dictatorships end, their end could come with either a bang or a whimper.
There's a certain irony to the fact that as a bloody, corrupt Tunisian dictator headed off to exile, another corrupt and bloody former dictator who fled his country almost 25 years ago returned to Haiti.
On Monday, Tunisian Prime Minister Mohamed Ghannouchi announced members of opposition parties would hold government positions for the first time. Democracy Now! spoke with four people about the Tunisian revolution.