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. In “Algeria after the Arab Spring: Vindicated Model or Regime on the Rocks?,” Susi 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. "Algeria, the Arab Spring, and the Specter of Jihad” by James Le Sueur, focuses on security dynamics in North Africa since the Arab uprisings, Algeria’s security strategy, and its larger regional security role. Le Sueur argues that as the euphoria of the Arab Spring has gone into remission, al Qaeda affiliated groups have found a second wind.