Policy Brief

North Africa’s Intifadas: Is Algeria Next?

September 2011


The uprisings that swept away the authoritarian regimes in Tunisia and Egypt in early 2011 did not so much inspire similar acts in Algeria as intensify and extend long-festering socioeconomic and political grievances that found almost daily expression in street demonstrations, political protests and labor strikes. The conditions that led to the uprising in other parts of North Africa – massive youth unemployment, legions of underemployed and overeducated people, corruption – have long existed in Algeria. Yet these system challenges have rarely threatened the regime´s existence as long as le pouvoir remained united in its determination to safeguard the state´s coercive, economic and technocratic assets. What cannot yet be determined, however, is the extent to which the dramatically altered regional environment, will strain the already fragile fabric of Algerian politics.

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