The Nobel Peace Prize Committee confounded expectations Friday -- bypassing figures such as Pope Francis and German Chancellor Angela Merkel -- and handed the award to the Tunisian National Dialogue Quartet for its "decisive contribution to the building of a pluralistic democracy in the country in the wake of the Jasmine Revolution of 2011." The group is dedicated to creating dialogue between disparate elements of Tunisian society. "The Quartet was formed in the summer of 2013 when the democratization process was in danger of collapsing as a result of political assassinations and widespread social unrest," the Nobel Committee said in a statement. "It established an alternative, peaceful political process at a time when the country was on the brink of civil war. It was thus instrumental in enabling Tunisia, in the space of a few years, to establish a constitutional system of government guaranteeing fundamental rights for the entire population, irrespective of gender, political conviction or religious belief." The group includes a labor union, a trade confederation, a human rights organization and a lawyers group.