While it often attracts media attention for its atypical aspects, the vote of French nationals abroad has rarely been the subject of in-depth fieldwork. This study of electoral dynamics in the ninth constituency of French citizens abroad (North Africa and West Africa) during the presidential and legislative elections of 2017 questions the constraints on the nomination process and candidacies, the transnational blurring of what is at stake during the election, and the effects of atypical campaigning in electoral archipelagos characterized both by their strong localism and their particular connection to broader geopolitical issues. This contribution shows how the meanings and stakes of extraterritorial voting are multivocal depending on the actors involved (candidates, voters, local media, authorities in the host country). Does overseas voting bring about a French community abroad or does it rather reveal the persistent differentiations at work between French communities according to origin, relationship to the “host” country and to “autochtony”, social status and the temporality of integration abroad?
Alex de Waal*
Geoff D. Porter*
The political determination of the Mediterranean border of the European Union seen from the perspective of the Southern European countries (Spain, Italy, Greece, Malta) illustrates the symbolic and political importance for these nations of maintaining control of the border. It has a significant impact on the types of controls that are enacted and the interplay between national and European decisions. Placing this question on the agenda brings to light a Mediterranean perspective regarding the exterior borders of the European Union that is largely determined by the conditions of integration of the different countries into the Schengen area. This new border regime is the result of complex political games and is seen as a security issue. The actual set of controls seems to be less planned and legal-rational than simply erratic and the result of tensions between internal tactics, nation state strategies and attempts at bringing within the ring of EU.
Thirty years after the nationalisation of hydrocarbons Algeria’s oil wealth seems to have disappeared judging by its absence in the country’s indicators of well being. In Algeria oil led to happiness for a few and sadness for many. The absence of controls over oil revenue led to the industries downfall. Since 2002 Algeria is again seeing oil wealth. The increase in the price per barrel from 30 to 147 dollars between 2002 and 2008 provided the country with unexpected revenue permitting it to accumulate funds estimated, in 2009, at 150 billion dollars. Abdelaziz Bouteflika, returned to a devastated Algeria to restore civil order, unexpectedly benefited from this price increase. Thus, in addition to national reconciliation he was able to offer Algeria renewed economic growth. However, given that the wounds of the 1990s are not entirely healed and the illusions of oil wealth have evaporated this unexpected return of financial abundance raises concerns. To what ends will this manna be put ? Who will control it ? Will it provoke new violence and conflict ?
In Morocco describing an activity as having a « participative » character vests it with all the virtues of civil society and implies it is a panacea. The launch in 2005 of the National Initiative for Human Development (NIHD), a program calling for the mobilization of everyone in the fight against poverty, can be considered a symbol of this « participation phenomenon ». By analyzing its norms and styles of action on which they are based it is possible to discover the internal logic of the participatory phenomenon and to see how it shapes politics. The promotion of certain styles of action, those combining the virtues of civil society with the technical support of participative policies, transforms the criteria of legitimation. Also, the moral values ascribed to participation justify the violation of other social norms, both economic and political, which have nothing to do with participation. Such an approach, developed here on the basis of the INDH at El Hajeb, brings to light the complex ideology on which the subject of participation is based as well as its active and creative role in the political configurations which draw their legitimacy from the value placed on participation.
Yahia H. Zoubir
Eric Gobe et Larbi Chouikha
Raymond Benhaïm, Youssef Courbage et Rémy Leveau
By concentrating on heavy trends within a medium to long term framework, these papers are an attempt to break with the alarmist interpretations which characterize most analyses of events in Nonh Africa.
On a demographic level, Youssef Courbage shows how emigration to Europe has had a profound influence on the pace of demographic transition in Algeria, Tunisia and Morocco. In this area these countries already constitute a coherent regional entity.
In his analysis of economic prospects, Raymond Benhaïm also discerns a logic of integration in spite of the fact that each of the North African countries today favours its bilateral relations with Europe. It is, in fact, in the European interest that these countries become a unified North African market.
Finally on a political level Rémy Leveau examines the new types of political behaviour of both those who govern and those governed. These forms of behaviour are emerging at a time of social disillusion, and when the urbanised and educated social strata claim to have their say in the organizing of society. Neither the states nor the islamic movements can achieve total victory: in the end a compromise solution should thus prevail. However for this to occur each party will need to give up its reductionist view of the adversary. External parties will need to consider other solutions than providing unconditional aid - against a so-called "green peril" - to those in power, all too prone to refuse the control of those they govem