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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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Islamism and democracy: international perceptions

Islamism and democracy: international perceptions

(p.123) 6 Islamism and democracy: international perceptions
The International Dimension of the Failed Algerian Transition

Francesco Cavatorta

Manchester University Press

The international dimension of the failed process of democratisation in Algeria indirectly addresses very important contemporary issues about the prospects of democracy in the Arab world. It is around the emergence of the FIS as the largest opposition movement in Algeria that the whole transition to democracy turned. The early 1990s attempt of the FIS to gain power through elections resonates in 2008, as both the academic and the policy-making communities are still grappling with the problematic relationship between Islamism and democracy. The emergence, the appeal and the electoral successes of the FIS in what can be considered free and fair elections both in 1990 and 1991 highlighted the practical difficulties for secular domestic actors and for the international community of applying traditional democratic standards to the Algerian events. It is very difficult not to see a very strong link between the cancellation of the elections, the ensuing repression of the FIS, and the explosion of violence.

Keywords:   Algeria, transition to democracy, FIS, elections, democratisation, violence, international community, Islamism, democracy, domestic actors

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