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In the Shadow of Revolution

In the Shadow of Revolution

Chapter:
(p.27) In the Shadow of Revolution
Source:
Algeria
Author(s):
James McDougall
Publisher:
Liverpool University Press
DOI:10.5949/liverpool/9781786940216.003.0002

This chapter surveys Algerian society and politics from 1999 to 2012, considering the country’s domestic and international situation in the context of the transition from the violence of the 1990s and the regional upheaval of the ‘Arab Spring’ revolutions of 2011. In an era of neoliberalism, generational change, new forms of regional and global connectivity and a renewed wave of popular protest, Algeria’s revolution and the once-imagined future of the Third World that it long stood for remained an inspiration and, at the same time, a long-unfulfilled aspiration. As Algeria celebrated fifty years of independence, the wave of protest and change engulfing the Arab world from Tunisia to Syria largely bypassed the region’s most iconically revolutionary nation. The chapter will consider the long- and short-term reasons for this, and explore how, after the war of the 1990s, Algeria’s political system has been able to maintain a status quo that, however structurally untenable in the longer term, seems capable of reproducing itself indefinitely for the present. Behind the successive revolutionary experiences of the 1960s-70s, 1988, and 2011, remain the unfulfilled promises of the insurrection of 1 November 1954, the unresolved question of establishing the rule of law and that of a state constituted by and for its people.

Keywords:   Algeria, Revolution, Arab Spring, Society, Politics

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