Algeria: The Revolution Institutionalized

By John P. Entelis | Go to book overview

rectify the many abuses of government and instances of gross mismanagement that so stifled Algeria's development, despite the availability of impressive human and natural resources. In the meantime the regime continues to pursue a predominantly nationalist, Algeria- first orientation, one consequence of which is the relative decline in the country's Third Worldism and in its preoccupation with the "big issues" in foreign affairs. The only issue that remains a principal agenda item is the conflict with Morocco over the Sahara, a conflict that seems no closer to resolution under Chadli than it was under Boumediene. Even the so-called steadfastness and confrontation front of Arab militants opposed to Egypt's peace treaty with Israel is not drawing Chadli's attention the way it did for Boumediene, who was a prime factor in originally forging this front.

At home and abroad, President Chadli Benjedid has managed to consolidate his authority in a nonauthoritarian manner, gaining the respect of his colleagues without simultaneously arousing enmity of important individuals or cliques. He has "displayed an ability to listen and respond selectively to the demands and criticisms put forward by the public. The government has also managed to reorient policy in a number of areas while preserving a good deal of continuity with earlier strategic options, and to organize a far-reaching renewal of the regime's personnel with a minimum of political instability."4

Supported by a strong state-centered apparatus with the military at its core, Chadli is pursuing cautious and pragmatic policies intended to make the Algerian system work more effectively for the people themselves. In this effort he has the apparent support of the system's key people and institutions. That Chadli is unprepared to transform Algeria into another Egypt is shown clearly enough by the regime's determination to maintain Algeria's basic socialist configuration. Yet Algeria is not Syria and is far from being another Libya, rhetoric and selective ideological posturing notwithstanding. What Boumediene started, Chadli is simply pursuing to its logical conclusion--political institutionalization leading to political stability and development; mixed socialist-state capitalism-modified liberalism, based on exploitation of oil and gas resources, leading to economic growth and prosperity; and military strength and preparedness, insuring regional security.


NOTES
1.
Robert Mortimer, "Algeria: Which Way Ahead?" Africa Report ( May- June 1979), p. 11.

-211-

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Algeria: The Revolution Institutionalized
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • PROFILES NATIONS OF THE CONTEMPORARY MIDDLE EAST ii
  • ABOUT THE BOOK AND AUTHOR iii
  • Title Page v
  • Contents vii
  • Tables and Figures ix
  • Illustrations xi
  • 1- Introduction 1
  • 2- The Imprint of History: Antiquity to 1919 6
  • Notes 34
  • 3- The Imprint of History: 1919 to the Present 35
  • Notes 67
  • 4- Culture and Society In Transition 69
  • Notes 108
  • 5- The Political Economy Of Development 111
  • Introduction 111
  • Notes 154
  • 6- The Dynamics Of Political Life 156
  • Notes 185
  • 7- Worldview 186
  • Introduction 186
  • Notes 206
  • 8- Conclusion 208
  • Notes 211
  • Acronyms 213
  • Suggested Readings 217
  • Index 225
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