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The International Dimension of the Failed Algerian TransitionDemocracy Betrayed?$
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Francesco Cavatorta

Print publication date: 2009

Print ISBN-13: 9780719076169

Published to Manchester Scholarship Online: July 2012

DOI: 10.7228/manchester/9780719076169.001.0001

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Introduction: Algeria's failed process of democratisation

Introduction: Algeria's failed process of democratisation

(p.1) 1 Introduction: Algeria's failed process of democratisation
The International Dimension of the Failed Algerian Transition

Francesco Cavatorta

Manchester University Press

In October 1988, Algeria experienced a seemingly sudden explosion of street violence triggered by economic and social discontent. These riots provided the opportunity for President Chadli Benjedid and for the soft-liners within the regime to introduce significant political reforms resulting in an attempt to turn the country into a fully-fledged democratic state which would embrace economic liberalism. However, the process of democratisation failed to consolidate and the democratic experiment came to an end in January 1992 when the Army, traditionally the real wielder of power behind the scenes, staged a ‘constitutional’ coup d'état to prevent the FIS from taking control of the government following their victory in the first round of the parliamentary elections held in December 1991. This book provides an in-depth examination of the Algerian transition, its ultimate failure, and the post-1992 authoritarian turn in the context of the pressures coming from the external environment. It argues that Algeria is instrumental in highlighting some of the shortcomings of the literature on transitions to democracy and links concepts from international relations to the analytical tools of transitology.

Keywords:   Algeria, economic liberalism, democratisation, transitions to democracy, international relations, transitology, Chadli Benjedid, riots, political reforms

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