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This introduction presents an overview of key concepts discussed in the subsequent chapters of this book. The book introduces key theme in Tunisia's modern development: the combination of highly personalized power and a political party that dominated all aspects of political and associational life. Tunisia benefited from several critical factors: a depoliticized military, a robust collection of civil society organizations, pragmatic leaders, Islamist and secular, who had experience working with one another. Tunisia's post-independence economic development strategy has consistently reflected a form of state capitalism that pursues growth through private sector activity and integration into regional and global markets. The fact that Tunisia's economic policies have varied more in rhetoric than in reality helps to explain why the country escaped the social and political turmoil that accompanies dramatic structural economic reform in many countries. It focuses on the countries five most critical relationships or issue areas: France, the US, the European Union (EU), the greater Middle East, and the Maghreb.