Algeria Three Years After the Arab Spring

Algeria is an important regional power for the United States and Europe in North Africa. Not only is Algeria the EU's third largest energy provider, with a value of €26.8 billion, but with a population of 38 million, it is also the region’s biggest economy. Its gross domestic product is $208 billion. The country is investing intensively in the security sector, so its intelligence service and armed forces - the largest in the region, at about 130,000 soldiers - have strong counter-terrorism capabilities. This paper focuses on the regional heavyweight with two contributions: one on domestic socio-economic dynamics by Susi Dennison and another on regional security dynamics by James Le Sueur. Dennison argues that despite relatively comfortable annual growth rates, Algeria's economy is not as safe as it seems. Not only is it heavily reliant on its hydrocarbon sector, but its approach toward the gas sector is short-termist and makes it increasingly difficult for Algeria to meet export requirements or the growing domestic demand for hydrocarbons. Dennison argues that Europe's bet on the relative calm of one of its most important energy providers may prove to be misguided. Le Sueur focuses on security dynamics in North Africa since the Arab uprisings, Algeria's security strategy, and its larger regional security role. He argues that as the euphoria of the Arab Spring has gone into remission, al Qaeda affiliated groups have found a second wind.

Paper produced within the framework of the IAI-GMF strategic partnership.

Editors: 
Details: 
Washington, The German Marshall Fund of the United States, 2014, 15 p.
Issue: 
24
Publication date: 
30/01/2014

Foreword, by Daniela Huber
1. Algeria after the Arab Spring: Vindicated Model or Regime on the Rocks?, by Susi Dennison
Introduction
The Algerian Economy: Heavy Reliance on a Troubled Hydrocarbon Sector
Algeria's Security Role: By Default the Most Reliable Regional Partner for the EU?
Prospects for the EU-Algeria Relationship Going Forward
2. Algeria, the Arab Spring, and the Specter of Jihad, by James D. Le Sueur
Introduction
Algeria and the Arab Uprisings
Phase II in the War on Terror
Whither the Sahel? Algeria's Regional Role
Conclusion

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