This paper analyses the relationship between the elites and the ruling authority in Algeria and the influence of ideology on the development of this relationship through a study of the roles undertaken by the elites from independence to today. The Algerian elites and the ruling authority participated together in building the Algerian state, after which relations between the two parties cooled, so political conditions in Algeria had to follow a trajectory similar to that of other Arab countries. This will transform the concerns of the elites, now merely political decor for legitimatizing the ruling authority within a nation-building strategy, into real agents in the political process, thereby guaranteeing political change and allowing the political map in Algeria to be redrawn. However, concerns have arisen about the distinct role and attitude of the Algerian elites towards issues of political change, especially within the scope of the so-called ‘Arab Spring revolutions’. Therefore, the stages in the process of democratic transition require careful attention to avoid any relapse that may obstruct and destroy the transition, preventing the complete metamorphosis to democracy. That is contingent on the role of the elites who are steering the transition, since they embody the popular will by granting the masses an opportunity to choose the political system that suits them. It is the elites' historical responsibility for leading this difficult stage in the history of a nation which is considering taking its fate into its own hands.
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Research Article| July 01 2015
Elites, power and ideology in Algeria: between state-building and political change
Contemporary Arab Affairs (2015) 8 (3): 363–378.
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Mourad Bensaid, Salah Ziani; Elites, power and ideology in Algeria: between state-building and political change. Contemporary Arab Affairs 1 July 2015; 8 (3): 363–378. doi: https://doi.org/10.1080/17550912.2015.1049055
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