Sun, Sea, Sand and Security: A Theory-Developing Study on the Relation Between Tourism and Lack of Political Liberalization

University essay from Lunds universitet/Statsvetenskapliga institutionen

Abstract: This bachelor thesis main ambition is to develop a theoretical foundation that can provide plausible explanations to the relation between tourism and lack of political liberalization in less-developed and middle-income countries.

The thesis identifies a number of unique features of tourism as a sociological and commercial phenomena. This conceptualization of tourism paves the way for the formulation of a set of hypotheses which serve as the foundation of the theory. As a final stage in the thesis the hypotheses will be illustrated through a smaller case-study of Tunisia and the links found between tourism and political authoritarianism in this country.

The general assessment of the theory that is presented in this study is that tourism can act as an efficient agent of socio-cultural change, creating more complex and diverse structures of interest in the society concerned. This raises the probability of social disruption and political instability as expectations of social and participatory demands are not met. On this point the interests of host and home country elites converge into one; political stability. Through different strategies the elite groups then work to keep the socio-political situation stable, which leaves the country concerned in a state of upheld authoritarianism

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