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Revolution in the Age of Identity: North Africa and the Postcolonial Condition

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To understand the meaning and the scope of the “Arab Spring”, one workable methodology is to examine the reality of the unrest in a specific geographical area. Within a context of increasing political and cultural interaction North Africa has managed to maintain separate identities. This article is an attempt to examine why the Arab uprisings fail, or rather never materialize in Algeria and Morocco? This topic becomes fascinating with a view to understand the structural changes from the age of independence to an interdependence that seems to leave undemocratic regimes untouched, while the postcolonial condition becomes a disputed issue. History, economics, and demographics are useful tools in order to examine processes that may otherwise be dumbed down into happy theories of liberation movements. There is nothing much happy in today’s North Africa, be they strategies of resistance or the power structures. In this article I will analyze the specific tension that exists between a power that has been consolidating over the decades and the counterhegemonic spiral that eventually placed Algerians ahead of the “Arab Spring” wave.

Affiliations: 1: University of British Columbia,


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