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Mbarek Rais

Political science - Tunisia

Research topics


States and Cultures in Maghreb, cultural policies and paradigm of democratic transition, new actors, issues and perspectives

This project proposes to reflect deeply on the present and the future of cultural policies in the context of a Maghreb society in full change. This raises the question of the overhaul of cultural policies, as well as that of their aims.
Cultural questions are today at the center of the interests and the speeches of the governments, paradoxically they appear in structural crisis of contents and objectives, because on the one hand, the universal mutations of the culture, and confronted of other part of the process of democratization. A crisis complicated by new technological, economic and commercial challenges, as well as the rise of new social actors such as civil society and the media.
The question is to know to what extent and in what ways cultural policies in the Maghreb can adapt, both at the level of the societal project and at the level of their institutional, regulatory and financial mechanics, to the arrival of these multiple actors in the heart of public space and the process of democratization?
To answer these complex questions it seemed to us necessary from a methodological point of view to articulate three sociological fields: the analysis of public policies of culture, the sociology of actors and the sociology of cultural practices. The main objective of this project is, first of all, to sketch some answers, to raise awareness of the strategic importance of culture, as an essential tool of socialization, in the face of contemporary challenges. Then, to bring out a Maghrebian vision of culture in relation to sustainable development by the recognition and enhancement of human rights. Lastly, it is a question of proposing new participative models of cultural governance, and of providing answers to the current blockages of cultural policy, allowing the strategic repositioning of the Maghreb, at regional, Euro-Mediterranean and international level.

Activities / Resume


Sonia Mbarek holds a Ph.D. in Political Science from the Faculty of Law and Political Science of Tunis -el Manar (2017); she is Master Assistant at the University of Tunis (ISMT) since 2004 and Associate Researcher at IRMC (2018) Specialized in human rights copyright, public policy of culture and sociology of international relations.
In 2016 she is appointed Minister of Culture and Heritage Safeguarding; she is at the initiative of the first law on the status of the artist in Tunisia and the project of valorization of cultural rights in underprivileged and prison. She presides over the International Carthage Festival (2014-2015) and the Tunisian Music Festival (2005-2008). Sonia Mbarek is also recognized as an internationally renowned opera artist, she hosts lectures, masters class and concerts of Arab-Andalusian singing in Tunisia and the Arab world, Europe and the United States since 1990.


  • « Music in society and its role in enhancing dialogue between people ». Sheikh Ibrahim Center of research and culture in Bahreïn (7 Mars 2017).
  • « La politique culturelle en Tunisie : Enjeux et perspectives post révolution. » Sciences-po Paris, (ASPA), (28 Novembre 2017)
  • « An overview of the Tunisian Andalousian music », Arab American Arts Institute, Mount Holyoke Collège in South Hadley, Massachussetts, (8 Aout 2018).
  • Evaluation des politiques culturelles au Maghreb. Faculté de droit et de sciences politiques de Tunis (22 Novembre 2018)
  • « Gouvernance culturelle en Tunisie post- révolution » Institut Français de Tunis (28 Janvier 2019)


  • Pour un nouveau logiciel de gouvernance de la culture et des arts. Journal mensuel Leaders -Tunisie. Juin 2017 (N 73)
  • « L’art contemporain et l’imagination créatrice » in Le réel et l’imaginaire dans la politique, l’art et la science. (Huitième rencontre de Carthage du 8-13 Mars 2004 Beit el Hekma), Carthage, Tunis, pp 199-206.
  • « Le rôle du musicien en faveur de l'interculturalité. » Université de Tunis el Manar et l'Institut japonais TODA pour la Paix, Tunis, Tunisie (6 au 8 février 2010)
  • Etude Stratégique et prospective, « La Tunisie en 2025. Un Etat émergent, résilient et réconcilié avec lui-même », publication de l’ITES, Tunis, Janvier 2017,212p.

Ouvrages contribution

  • Le statut du musicien en Tunisie. Etat des lieux de la politique musicale : Approche sociologique, Paris, Harmattan, 2018, 310 p.

Ouvrages en cours de rédaction

  • Analyse et critique de la théorie du choc des civilisations, de Samuel Huntington.
  • La politique festivalière, rôles socio-politiques et économiques des festivals aujourd’hui

Additional informations