Algeria in Transition: Reforms and Development Prospects by Ahmed Aghrout, Redha. M Bougherira, Professor John Keiger

By Ahmed Aghrout, Redha. M Bougherira, Professor John Keiger

This booklet, through offering an updated, systematic analytical account on differences in Algeria, makes a beneficial contribution to the literature in this kingdom that has now not but acquired a lot recognition within the Anglo-American academy. Its virtue is that it totally specializes in Algeria, hence departing from current reports facing the complete geographical sector of North Africa or the Maghreb.

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Additional info for Algeria in Transition: Reforms and Development Prospects

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In a general sense, these can be interpreted within the Algerian context in the following way. The economic or ‘rationality’ crisis is to be found in the instability and vulnerabilities of the oil and gas markets; the question of what constitutes legitimate authority in Algeria, while present during the struggle for independence, became visible during the 1980s; while the sociocultural crises are represented, first of all, by the Algeria in transition 26 struggle between the state and the Islamists, and second, by that between the state and the regionalist movement in Kabylia.

In part, the more positive attitude taken by Nouschi to Benjedid is attributable to the ambivalence that had earlier been felt by the radical European left of the 1960s and 1970s to the fact that Boumédienne had come to power in 1965 through a coup d’état. This manner of Boumédienne’s accession to power consequently rendered his regime illegitimate—very much as the December 1851 coup d’état by Louis-Napoleon had made the Second Empire forever illegitimate to the French republican left. 58 The idea that the death of Boumédienne and the recognition by the successor regime of the problematic nature of Boumédienne’s economic policy, characterized as it had been by its emphasis on industry, could therefore be seen to inaugurate a new beginning for Algeria.

56 However, the basis of the original argument was that development was dependent upon the establishment of these ‘motor industries’, identified in Hirschman as iron and steel and mechanical engineering. In their translation into the Algerian context by Perroux and de Bernis, although iron and steel were seen as important, the central ‘motor industry’ was taken to be hydrocarbons. 57 In spite of the critique, it is nevertheless important to remember that the roots of Perroux’s strategy for the development of the Algerian economy were ideas that were widespread in economic thought in Europe and the United States at the time of Algerian independence, so that the contemporary critique of them represented the counter-image provided at the time by non-Soviet western Marxism.

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