Francis Ghilès

Francis Ghilès is a senior associate researcher at the Barcelona Centre for International Affairs. He was the North Africa correspondent for the Financial Times from 1977 to 1995.

The Tunisian paradox

‘We swore to defend the constitution,’ shouted the deputy speaker of the Tunisian parliament, to which a young soldier retorted, ‘We swore to defend the fatherland’. This exchange in front of the locked gates of parliament last month sums up the paradox of Tunisia. President Kais Saied’s decision a few hours earlier to dismiss his

An insight into the medieval Muslim mind

  At a press conference in October 1981, Ronald Reagan quoted Ibn Khaldun (1332–1406) in support of what is known as supply-side economics. Although the 14th- century politician and thinker wrote extensively about economics and was almost unique among medieval Arab writers in so doing, it is quite ‘marvellous’ writes Robert Irwin, the author of