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Algeria has often been described as a “pivot” State in North African and Arab Politics. Its policies, both domestic and foreign ones, have often been the subject of much debates and criticisms. This course aims at understanding the trajectory of Algeria from the colonization to its present history by examining French Algeria, the process of State building, its economy, of its society and the structure of the Algerian political system. More than that, Algeria has experienced one of the most difficult political transition in the Arab world culminating in the Algerian civil war, which came along with major economic and political reforms, resulting in a sort of “Algerian exception” in the Arab spring : Algeria, and contrary to most of the other Arab countries, has experienced neither an uprising nor any political change/reform. Therefore, this course aims at analyzing all the events, through a historical perspective, that led to the current situation. It will answer key questions such as what are the origins and the nature of the Algerian system, what is the structure of the Algerian economy, how does nationalism impact the policy making of Algeria, how does history influence decision making in foreign policy etc.
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