Algeria has survived the decade of political turmoil, with Arab Spring revolutions subverting authoritarian leaders across the Maghreb, largely unscathed. Popular unrest was swiftly quelled by government handouts and thereafter kept on a minimal level, even though the nation has been ruled by Abdelaziz Bouteflika for almost 20 years. Bouteflika, confined to a wheelchair after a 2013 stroke and avoiding public appearances, still managed to secure a fourth presidential term in 2014. Yet despite the relative tranquility, pressure is mounting on the Algerian establishment to conduct thorough reforms that would modernize the country’s society and kick-start economic growth. Being a very young society – Algeria’s population has grown by 10 million in the past 17 years – diversifying away from oil & gas will be the primordial task of the government. The reform indispensability factor looms large on the agenda, since no one wants to be the person to […]