RSSAlle Einträge Tagged With: "Algerien"

Algerien: Prospects for an Islamic or a Secular State

Wenn Akacem

What are the prospects for an Islamic state in Algeria nowadays? Before wecan answer that question, we must first understand the political, economic,and social developments that have recently taken place in Algeria. !ese eventswill shed some light on the decline of the Islamist movements.Soon after independence, Algeria adopted an inward-oriented “socialist”system. Its economic development model depended on revenues fromhydrocarbons, mainly oil. Additionally, the public sector dominated the economicactivities through the State Owned Enterprises (SOEs) that were supposed tocatalyze the economic and social development of the country. !e governmentwas the main supplier of subsidized food, utilities, housing, education, andjobs. In this first phase of the socialist experience, the government successfullyfaced “the problems of development,” and it could deliver the just-mentionedgoods and services as long as oil prices and oil revenues were high enough.1 !egovernment, jedoch, failed to face “the development of problems” during thesecond phase of its socialist experience. A huge decrease in the price of oil inthe mid-1980s, from around $40 to around $6 a barrel in few weeks, left thegovernment unable to provide better living standards for a population that haddoubled in size since independence. Since oil revenues were, and still are, themost important source of foreign currency for the country, the drastic decreasein crude oil prices had several consequences. First, it led to a severe foreign debtcrisis. Second, there was a dramatic reduction in the volume of imports—inparticular, food products. !ird, the government’s budgetary resources werereduced by about 50%. Schließlich, there was a severe economic recession that ledto social protests that led, in turn, to “bread rioting.”