Elections in authoritarian contexts

The case of Algeria

Authored by: Youcef Bouandel

Routledge Handbook of Middle East Politics

Print publication date:  April  2020
Online publication date:  March  2020

Print ISBN: 9781138047631
eBook ISBN: 9781315170688
Adobe ISBN:


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This chapter looks at the questions of elections within authoritarian contexts. It is a case study of the author’s research activities over a period of 25 years in Algeria. The chapter has three interconnected aims. First, it presents the problematic of studying elections in Algeria in a period of political turmoil, civilian tension and military sets of “le pouvoir”, on the one hand, and between dictatorial and democratic forms of transition, of the other hand. The study looks at three administrations—(Chadli Bendjedid (1979–1992), Liamine Zeroual (1994–1999) and Abdelaziz Bouteflika (1999–present)—during which the author was proactive in research during field trips to Algeria. Second, the chapter reflects on the researcher’s strategies: choice of theories, methodologies and evidence. Finally, the chapter concludes with pedagogical “tips” as guidance to future scholars in the field.

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