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By James D. Le Sueur

Algeria's democratic test is seminal in post-Cold battle history.  the 1st Muslim country to aim the transition from an authoritarian method to democratic pluralism, this North African state turned a attempt case for reform in Africa, the Arab international and beyond.  but while the rustic seemed bound to develop into the world's first elected Islamic republic, there has been an army coup and the democratic approach was once introduced sharply to a halt.  Islamists declared jihad at the kingdom and thousands of civilians have been killed within the resulting decade of nation repression.  Le Sueur exhibits that Algeria is on the very middle of up to date debates approximately Islam and secular democracy, arguing that the soundness of Algeria is important for the safety of the broader center East.  Algeria for the reason that 1989 is a full of life and crucial exam of ways the destiny of 1 nation is entwined with a lot larger worldwide issues.  

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Extra resources for Algeria Since 1989: Between Terror and Democracy (Global History of the Present)

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Effectively, only Algerian diplomacy, which resulted in the “Algiers Accords” on January 19, 1981, and the transfer of the hostages to Algiers the next day ended 444 days of American national anguish. As the sole government in the world capable of negotiating between President Jimmy Carter’s crippled administration and the emboldened Ayatollah Khomeinibacked revolutionary Islamists, Algeria had pulled off one of the greatest diplomatic feats of the twentieth century. Contrasted against the failed hijacking of Air France flight 8969 (when Algerian terrorists attempted to blow up a plane over the Eiffel Tower on Christmas Eve, 1994), the 1995 Paris bombings, and the December 1999 attempted bombing of Los Angeles International Airport during the Millennium celebrations (when an Algerian terrorist trained in Afghanistan by al Qaeda was caught with a car filled with explosives trying to cross the US–Canadian border in Washington state), Algeria’s earlier status seems distant and almost nostalgic.

Then, overnight, the ceiling fell on the world’s oil prices, bringing the price of oil to below $10 per barrel and with it Algeria’s economy to a grinding halt. 34 In the face of a rapidly growing and massively discontented population, the 1986 oil crisis crippled the old regime, leaving it to hobble uncomprehendingly into the violent confrontations of October 1988. As we have seen, the population had already risen from roughly 8 million at independence in 1962 to approximately 23 million by the mid-late 1980s (it would soar to over 33 million by 2008).

With chronic unemployment, many Algerians began to look for work outside the country. 32 Chadli Bendjedid and liberalization The commonly accepted argument, and I think the correct one, about contemporary Algerian history is that if Algeria had developed a stronger industrial base, and not used its hydrocarbon revenues to prop up a failing socialist industrial experiment during the Boumediene era, it might have been better able to weather the storm brought by the 1986 oil crisis. As it was, the idealism of the Boumediene era began to unravel quickly under the rule of his successor, Colonel Chadli Bendjedid, who was acting defense minister at the time when he took over as president in January 1979.

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