‘While Tunisia has been regarded by most observers as the model case of democratic transition in the region, following the turmoil of the 2011 Arab uprisings, it too has experienced significant instability, although not on the scale of its neighbours in the region.’ Tunisians wave banners and their national flag during a demonstration in Midoun, north east of Djerba on March 20th, two days after gunmen attacked the National Bardo Museum. German writting on placard reads: “We don’t want any terrorists in Tunisia.”Photograph: ROBERT MICHAEL/AFP/Getty Images

Earlier this week, Tunisia became the latest country to suffer a violent attack at the hands of militants linked to the so-called Islamic State (IS). (...)

Chemical weapons: Syrian activists inspect the bodies of people they say were killed in a  nerve gas attack on the Duma neighbourhood of Damascus in August by President Bashar al-Assad’s forces. Photograph: Bassam Khabieh/Reuters

Nearly three years after the euphoria, both inside and outside the region, that greeted the tumultuous events of the spring of 2011, the Middle East l(...)