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Democracy betrayed?

This book builds a theoretical framework through which previously neglected international factors are brought into the analyses of transitions to democracy. It then explores the case of Algeria. It contributes to the literature on democratisation and provides an analysis of Algerian politics during the last two decades. More specifically, it examines how international variables influence the behaviour and activities of Algerian political actors. By bridging the comparative politics and international relations literature, the book offers a new understanding of the initiation, development and outcome of transitions to democracy. International factors, far from being marginal and secondary, are treated as central explanatory variables. Such external factors were crucial in the failed Algerian transition to democracy, when the attitudes and actions of key international actors shaped the domestic game and its final outcome. In particular, the book looks at the controversial role of the Islamic Salvation Front and how its part was perceived abroad. In addition, it argues that international factors significantly contribute to explaining the persistence of authoritarian rule in Algeria, to its integration into the global economy and its co-optation into the war on terror.

François Burgat

considerably. I was therefore regularly solicited to assist in the examination of applications for political asylum made by exiled Islamists from the Islamic Salvation Front (Anwar Haddam in Washington, DC, Ahmed Zaoui in Auckland) and (Tunisia’s) Movement of the Islamic Tendency, which became Ennahda in 1989 (Mohamed Zrig in Montreal). The regimes in question largely sustained themselves through the intense repression that their Western partners tolerated, when they did not directly join in. These regimes therefore did not hesitate to take action, both on the media front of

in Understanding Political Islam
François Burgat

Arab Springs: When “Our” World Discovers That It Is Not Alone Because Algeria was so close geographically, the spectacular breakthrough of the Islamic Salvation Front (FIS) in the local elections of June 1990 was the turning point of European—and especially French—perceptions of Islamism. These elections exploded a myth that, despite the warning sign of the Iranian revolution, remained firmly anchored in the Western imagination in general, and that of the left in particular. Those who could lay claim to the “orderly” succession of the

in Understanding Political Islam
François Burgat

Saudi militants comfortably ensconced in their oil rent, Kepel had long sustained the “economicist” doxa according to which Islamists recruited only among those left behind by development policies. “In Algeria,” so a special correspondent sent by Le Monde , Jacques de Barrin, had already thought he could enlighten his readers on December 27, 1991, “the Islamic Salvation Front recruited most of its followers on the fringes of society—among those who had nothing to lose in giving the Front a chance, and who are ready to take every risk

in Understanding Political Islam
François Burgat

organization that was likely too representative of the sensibility of most believers. There was the “affair” of the supporters of Algeria’s Islamic Salvation Front (FIS) who became closely identified with the 1995 Paris terrorist attacks. There was the “affair” of the banning of the Islamic headscarf from public schools, and of the burqa from public spaces. Then came the popular protests against the cartoons of the Prophet, which “threatened freedom of expression.” And finally, the radical surge that leads us up to the crimes of Mehdi Nemmouche, the gunman who killed four

in Understanding Political Islam
Challenges and opportunities

This book explores the evolving African security paradigm in light of the multitude of diverse threats facing the continent and the international community today and in the decades ahead. It challenges current thinking and traditional security constructs as woefully inadequate to meet the real security concerns and needs of African governments in a globalized world. The continent has becoming increasingly integrated into an international security architecture, whereby Africans are just as vulnerable to threats emanating from outside the continent as they are from home-grown ones. Thus, Africa and what happens there, matters more than ever. Through an in-depth examination and analysis of the continent’s most pressing traditional and non-traditional security challenges—from failing states and identity and resource conflict to terrorism, health, and the environment—it provides a solid intellectual foundation, as well as practical examples of the complexities of the modern African security environment. Not only does it assess current progress at the local, regional, and international level in meeting these challenges, it also explores new strategies and tools for more effectively engaging Africans and the global community through the human security approach.

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Approaching the Other
François Burgat

meantime, he had become the influential rector of the great Lebanese university there. The Algerian Regime’s Third-Worldist Self-Assertion Before the Islamic Salvation Front (Front Islamique du Salut, FIS) suddenly entered the political scene in 1989, then defined it during the 1990s, the Algeria of the 1970s was defined by the Agrarian Revolution and heavy industry. These were the two pillars of development upon which the country sought to emerge from its dependence on hydrocarbons, and to perfect its independence. For

in Understanding Political Islam
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Writing the History of a Research Career
François Burgat

research choices led me to interact—often tensely—with my media and political environments, and with my key academic interlocutors. From my very earliest work, I grasped first the intellectual then the political price there would be to pay for my approach to Islamism. Those who did not share this approach considered it to be too complacently analytical. This cost soared from the early 1990s onwards, in successive contexts that warrant a brief recapitulation. In Algeria, the repression that struck the Islamic Salvation Front (Front Islamique du

in Understanding Political Islam
François Burgat

. In 1995, the founder of one of Algeria’s two human rights defense leagues was sat at the rostrum of one of the handsome auditoriums of the Great Arch of Paris’s La Défense quarter. He was “struggling,” for he had imprudently set out on a path that was as sensitive and hazardous as it was ambitious. Namely: to nuance his audience’s understanding of the militants of the Islamic Salvation Front (FIS) who had colonized the media. Like his audience, he fought the FIS from the left he had been raised in. But he did so with slightly more discernment, a little less blindly

in Understanding Political Islam
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Some notes on ‘terror’
Chris Miller

Wars: A Moral Argument with Historical Illustrations , 3 rd edn. (New York: Basic Books, 2000), 197. 3 There are, of course, forms of terrorism that do not target at random but focus on particular categories, such as trade-unionists (Colombia) or intellectuals (the French pro-colonialist Organisation de l’armée secrète in Algeria, whose example was subsequently followed by the home-grown Islamist Islamic Salvation Front). We might categorize them as terrorist assassinations. 4 Messages to the World (note 1), 205. 5 Just and Unjust Wars

in ‘War on terror’