Multi-causal Conflict in Algeria: National Identity, Inequality and Political Islam \

Date: Apr, 2003
ODID Working Paper No. 104
Author(s): Cathie Lloyd (QEH)

The conflict in Algeria has been about peoples' efforts to make sense of their identities, gain control over their lives and the direction of their society. In Algeria, post-colonial conflict has taken violent forms. With its considerable reserves of oil and gas Algeria has attracted substantial amounts of foreign capital. Extraction and exploration proceeded uninterrupted even during the worst years of violence. The revenues from oil have enabled the authorities to remain in power in the face of considerable social upheaval and political dissent. Global economic players have participated in the extraction of Algeria's resources but there has been little interest in the fate of the Algerian people. In the first part of this paper I provide historical contextual material which leads into an account of the years of violence, attempts to build a peace process and the extension of the conflict with the uprising in Kabylie in recent years. The second part looks at economic and cultural global flows and their impact on the conflict, focusing on the growth of inequalities, the role of the diaspora, the new media and political Islam as a global cultural force.

ODID Author(s)