Algeria’s Failed Transitions to a Sustainable Polity: Coming to Yet Another Crossroads

MEDPRO Technical Paper No. 7

21 Pages Posted: 7 Feb 2012

See all articles by Hakim Darbouche

Hakim Darbouche

affiliation not provided to SSRN

Date Written: October 28, 2011


Algeria is so far the only country in North Africa not to have experienced sustained mass protests calling for political change. The government in Algiers has by no means remained indifferent to the groundbreaking events in neighboring countries, but it is responding to this sweeping wave of change at its own pace. This paper argues that, despite its apparent stability, the Algerian polity suffers from underlying currents of instability that risk undermining the long-term sustainability of the state. It identifies the failure of the country’s political and economic transitions and its implications as the most serious challenge confronting the Algerian state today. Unless a) the process of democratic transition that was initiated in 1989 is refined and put back on track, leading to the advent and consolidation of the rule of law, popular enfranchisement and total civilian control of the military; and b) the efforts to diversify the economy away from hydrocarbons are intensified and made more coherent, Algeria will remain susceptible to future instability. This is all the more pertinent given that the country is heading towards a crossroads where the issue of generational transition will also become imperative for the current leadership to deal with.

Keywords: Algeria, stability, economic transitions, political transitions, democratic transition

Suggested Citation

Darbouche, Hakim, Algeria’s Failed Transitions to a Sustainable Polity: Coming to Yet Another Crossroads (October 28, 2011). MEDPRO Technical Paper No. 7, Available at SSRN:

Hakim Darbouche (Contact Author)

affiliation not provided to SSRN ( email )

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