The Agony Of Algeria

by Martin Stone

Columbia University Press | October 1, 1997 | Trade Paperback

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Since the Algerian military annulled an election in January 1992 that would have brought to power the world''s first democratically elected Islamist government, a civil war has raged in which more than 100,000 Algerians have died. The military takeover polarized the country between the political and military elite and the mass of the population. The elite were perceived as interested only in personal gain and holding on to power, while most Algerians faced intense hardship. But the brutality of the Islamists'' insurgency--including car bombings, the murder of ''immodestly'' dressed women, the assassination of intellectuals, and the wiping out of whole villages--has lost them support. Most Algerians no longer want the Islamic republicanism of the FIS or the millenarianism of the GIA.

Martin Stone provides a brief overview of Algeria since 1830 before focusing on three crucial phases of the postcolonial era--those of Ben Bella, Boumedienne and the reformist Chadli Bendjedid; and the political and economic crisis under the Haut Comité d''État (HCE). He examines the donimant state institutions--the army and the FLN--and the increasingly bitter divisions behind the current conflict, especially the factionalism that has hampered ALgeria''s attempts to realize its great potential. The book also deals with the large Berber minority, relations with France, the economic background, forgien policy, the 1997 elections, and the administration of President Lamine Zeroual.

In conclusion it examines whether the state can reconcile the moderate, convservative Islam of the majority with the minorities on either pole--both Islamic radicals and secularists--and create a political landscape where genuine political pluralism can flourish and extremism be suppressed.

Format: Trade Paperback

Dimensions: 200 pages, 8.75 × 1 × 0.68 in

Published: October 1, 1997

Publisher: Columbia University Press

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10: 0231109113

ISBN - 13: 9780231109116

Found in: Africa

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– More About This Product –

The Agony Of Algeria

by Martin Stone

Format: Trade Paperback

Dimensions: 200 pages, 8.75 × 1 × 0.68 in

Published: October 1, 1997

Publisher: Columbia University Press

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10: 0231109113

ISBN - 13: 9780231109116

About the Book

Examining Algeria's history, from the founding of the Berber kingdoms, 130 years of French rule, and the devastating war for independence----gained in 1962----to the present, this book makes intelligible the current crisis tearing at the fabric of the country's society, while offering an analysis of the social, economic, and political challenges ahead.

From the Publisher

Since the Algerian military annulled an election in January 1992 that would have brought to power the world''s first democratically elected Islamist government, a civil war has raged in which more than 100,000 Algerians have died. The military takeover polarized the country between the political and military elite and the mass of the population. The elite were perceived as interested only in personal gain and holding on to power, while most Algerians faced intense hardship. But the brutality of the Islamists'' insurgency--including car bombings, the murder of ''immodestly'' dressed women, the assassination of intellectuals, and the wiping out of whole villages--has lost them support. Most Algerians no longer want the Islamic republicanism of the FIS or the millenarianism of the GIA.

Martin Stone provides a brief overview of Algeria since 1830 before focusing on three crucial phases of the postcolonial era--those of Ben Bella, Boumedienne and the reformist Chadli Bendjedid; and the political and economic crisis under the Haut Comité d''État (HCE). He examines the donimant state institutions--the army and the FLN--and the increasingly bitter divisions behind the current conflict, especially the factionalism that has hampered ALgeria''s attempts to realize its great potential. The book also deals with the large Berber minority, relations with France, the economic background, forgien policy, the 1997 elections, and the administration of President Lamine Zeroual.

In conclusion it examines whether the state can reconcile the moderate, convservative Islam of the majority with the minorities on either pole--both Islamic radicals and secularists--and create a political landscape where genuine political pluralism can flourish and extremism be suppressed.

About the Author

Martin Stone is a regular contributor on Algeria, Morocco, and Tunisia for the journal Business Middle East.

Editorial Reviews

No book ever came more perfectly on cue than Martin Stone''s The Agony of Algeria, with its mission to explain. Its thesis is that the issues left unresolved after Algeria won independence in 1962 are at the root of its current predicament. By grounding his argument in a tour-d''horizon of two millennia, Stone shows how complex those issues are.