The failed liberalisation of Algeria and the international context: a legacy of stable authoritarianism
Cavatorta, Francesco (2002) The failed liberalisation of Algeria and the international context: a legacy of stable authoritarianism. The Journal of North African Studies, 7 (4). pp. 23-43. ISSN 1362-9387
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The paper attempts to challenge the somewhat marginal role of international factors in the study of transitions to democracy. Theoretical and practical difficulties in proving causal mechanisms between international variables and domestic outcomes can be overcome by defining the international dimension in terms of Western dominance of world politics and by identifying Western actions towards democratising countries. The paper focuses on the case of Algeria, where international factors are key in explaining the initial process of democratisation and its following demise. In particular, the paper argues that direct Western policies, the pressures of the international system and external shocks influence the internal distribution of power and resources, which underpins the different strategies of all domestic actors. The paper concludes that analysis based purely on domestic factors cannot explain the process of democratisation and that international variables must be taken into more serious account and much more detailed.
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