Algeria.From Opacity to Complexity

Algeria.From Opacity to Complexity

  • Algeria Modern From Opacity to ComplexityAlgeria Modern From Opacity to Complexity

Interview with Luis Martinez (CERI Sciences Po) and Rasmus Alenius Boserup (DIIS), authors of Algeria Modern. From Opacity to Complexity, London, Hurst Publishers/CERI Sciences Po, April 2016

The book title "opacity to complexity" is in regard to the Algerian state. What are the main features of this opacity?

One of the main features of this opacity is the fundamental role of the security services. Since independence, the state in Algeria has remained under the influence and control of the military, and its organs have composed a large part of the state apparatus and political institutions since the end of the Boumediene presidency (1965-1979). In this time, they have considered themselves as the supporting wall of the Algerian building. Moreover, parallel to the accessible and observable institutional/formal political scene, another developed and consolidated. Various actors from diverse backgrounds began acting in networks. For Algerians, these power players represent “the system”. This opacity was also a feature of various administrations. From Chadli’s (1980-1991) to Zeroual’s presidency (1994-1998), it was difficult to know "who governs and decides" in Algeria. Many testimonies of former Ministers underline this unintelligibility.  Interestingly, Bouteflika’s denunciation of this opacity began a major conflict between political actors (President, FLN) and the security services (DRS)...

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