Francesco Cavatorta
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From partners to allies
The integration of authoritarian Algeria in the international system
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The international dimension played a significant role in the origin, development and conclusion of Algeria's failed transition to democracy. The process of democratisation might have ended even if the FIS had been allowed to govern, as there were serious doubts about its democratic credentials and commitment, but this situation did not arise because of a preventive military coup, which was externally sanctioned and welcomed. This chapter examines the role of the international community in sustaining Algeria's transformation from a radical socialist republic to a compliant ally of the United States and France, supporting neo-liberal economic policies and repressing the most popular domestic political force in the name of values it does not actually practice. It examines three rewards received by Algeria from its newfound international allies, namely: financial and economic rewards, the international legitimisation of the regime borne out of the cancellation of elections, and the realm of security. The chapter concludes by discussing the existence of facade democracy and crony capitalism in Algeria.

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