Every Friday the CMES hosts an informal guided discussion of current events in the Middle East and North Africa, open to all.
Last week, thousands of Algerians took to the streets in response to the announcement made by the ruling National Liberation Front (FLN) party that President Abdelaziz Bouteflika, 81, would be seeking a fifth term in office after ruling the country uninterruptedly for two decades. The president has rarely been seen in public since a stroke incapacitated him in 2013 and the protests have been taking place despite being officially banned in the country since 2001. Having suffered from a bloody civil war between 1991-2002, the Algerian protests of the Arab Spring in 2011 resulted in a limited expansion of civil rights. Algerian politics have been criticized to be dominated by an oligarchical clique of veterans from the war of independence, and the overwhelmingly young population have become increasingly frustrated by stark economic pressures. Is political change a possibility in Algeria and what could it look like? What have we learned from the other cases in the region? In next week's salon we will discuss Algerian politics and economy against the background of ongoing social upheaval.
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