Why did Algeria and Libya suffer more from democratization than Tunisia and Egypt did?

Aug 2010
15,105
Welsh Marches
#11
There were elections in Libya, apparently of a resonably fair nature, in 2012, but the situation seems to be fairly chaotic because much of the country is effectively under the control of militias, and cities that rose up against Gaddafi are reluctant to give up their autonomy. But I'm sure there msut be people here who know a lot more about this than I do! Developing a proper democracy is a slow and difficult process because so much more is involved than merely holding elections.
 
Likes: Futurist

Futurist

Ad Honoris
May 2014
13,833
SoCal
#12
There were elections in Libya, apparently of a resonably fair nature, in 2012, but the situation seems to be fairly chaotic because much of the country is effectively under the control of militias, and cities that rose up against Gaddafi are reluctant to give up their autonomy. But I'm sure there msut be people here who know a lot more about this than I do! Developing a proper democracy is a slow and difficult process because so much more is involved than merely holding elections.
Do you think that Libya would have fared better had NATO sent a peacekeeping mission there after Gaddafi was toppled like they previously did with Kosovo?
 

Futurist

Ad Honoris
May 2014
13,833
SoCal
#13
I don't think they had the required control to be honest. And leaned that way themselves/required the support etc
The part about lacking the required control might be accurate--though I certainly don't think that your second sentence here is accurate. After all, if the Algerian military sympathized with Islamists, they would have surely allowed the second round of the Algerian elections to be held and accepted the risk that this could result in an Islamist victory. The fact that they canceled the second round and thus sparked a decade-long civil war suggests that Algeria's military wasn't very fond of Islamists.
 
Nov 2010
7,266
Cornwall
#14
The part about lacking the required control might be accurate--though I certainly don't think that your second sentence here is accurate. After all, if the Algerian military sympathized with Islamists, they would have surely allowed the second round of the Algerian elections to be held and accepted the risk that this could result in an Islamist victory. The fact that they canceled the second round and thus sparked a decade-long civil war suggests that Algeria's military wasn't very fond of Islamists.
Maybe so but what about the governments that ran the military?

Either way Algeria seems to have gradually transformed into a much better country to do business with. Instead of a 'don't visit' site. I recently saw one of those train programmes with Griff Rees Jones where he travelled through Algeria by rail and visited a few historical sites.

I'm looking for ward to the day I can safely (fully) visit some of those historical towns I've read about in books like Huici Miranda's 'Historia Polical del Imperio Almohade'

...if I'm not too old by then.
 
#15
I am not monitoring the situation there but, at this point I have doubts that we can consider Libya a state, much less a democratic state, or in a path to democracy.
I'd say this actually nails the more fundamental answer to this question.

Egypt is a real nation state for obvious reasons of history, Tunisia is small enough to function as a nation state. Algeria and Libya are completely fictional states that is arbitrarily put together by colonial powers, made much worse because it's geographically vast AND without a clear dominant center. (For example, one COULD argue that the peripheries of China like Tibet and Xinjiang aren't an actual part of their nation-state, the problem is that the center is well over 90% of the population and clearly has a very strong bind as one.)

This means that naturally, the gravity of states like Egypt would bend towards staying together more than falling apart, while the reverse is true for Libya.

This is a major problem in the current world order in the sense that as the UN is constructed, basically the world disallow separation (or annexation/mergers.) yet at the same time there's a lot of loose ends resulting from the legacy of colonialism and various unfinished civil wars. It's all fine and dandy to talk how potentially those could be achieved by referendum and all, but that's just being intellectually dishonest to think that the various interest and institution (or lack there of.) at work would allow a real honest vote.
 

royal744

Ad Honorem
Jul 2013
9,804
San Antonio, Tx
#16
I lived in Tunisia from 1968-1970 and thoroughly enjoyed my time there. There are no vast amounts of petroleum in Tunisia and no major natural resources other than phosphates and date palms. Tunisia is fundamentally an agricultural country that has historically had difficulty growing enough wheat (cous-cous) to feed its population. Wheat-bearing ships from Houston appear to arrive in Tunis’ harbor every week.

Because Tunisia - roughly the size of the state of Louisiana - is not rich in valuable natural resources, it has had to make its own way in the world and to earn its living. The country - probably due to lots of Italian settlement - makes a great deal of wine most of which is probably exported to Italy and to France. The Tunisians have had to earn their own way to prosperity and without many natural resources, this is an iff-y thing even in good years.

The Tunisian government has invested heavily in education for its populace. They have done a pretty good job of it, too. So good, in fact, that the number of fairly-skilled Tunisians is high in comparison to its neighbors. This also means that the country does not have enough skilled jobs to meet the demand. Thus some Tunisians leave for, say, France, or Italy or elsewhere.

The lynchpin in earning foreign exchange in Tunisia is Tourism. It’s big business in Tunisia but it also suffered each time there is an act of terrorism in Tunisia or in one of its close neighbors. Algeria is quite stable these days, but Libya is a basket case.

I see Tunisia as the Maghreb’s best hope, but it is a delicate balancing act. It’s also no accident that the Tunisian Army is deplored on the Algerian and Libyan borders.
 
Likes: Futurist
Nov 2010
7,266
Cornwall
#17
I lived in Tunisia from 1968-1970 and thoroughly enjoyed my time there. There are no vast amounts of petroleum in Tunisia and no major natural resources other than phosphates and date palms. Tunisia is fundamentally an agricultural country that has historically had difficulty growing enough wheat (cous-cous) to feed its population. Wheat-bearing ships from Houston appear to arrive in Tunis’ harbor every week.

Because Tunisia - roughly the size of the state of Louisiana - is not rich in valuable natural resources, it has had to make its own way in the world and to earn its living. The country - probably due to lots of Italian settlement - makes a great deal of wine most of which is probably exported to Italy and to France. The Tunisians have had to earn their own way to prosperity and without many natural resources, this is an iff-y thing even in good years.

The Tunisian government has invested heavily in education for its populace. They have done a pretty good job of it, too. So good, in fact, that the number of fairly-skilled Tunisians is high in comparison to its neighbors. This also means that the country does not have enough skilled jobs to meet the demand. Thus some Tunisians leave for, say, France, or Italy or elsewhere.

The lynchpin in earning foreign exchange in Tunisia is Tourism. It’s big business in Tunisia but it also suffered each time there is an act of terrorism in Tunisia or in one of its close neighbors. Algeria is quite stable these days, but Libya is a basket case.

I see Tunisia as the Maghreb’s best hope, but it is a delicate balancing act. It’s also no accident that the Tunisian Army is deplored on the Algerian and Libyan borders.
Although 1970 is obviously a long time ago, in your view are the ISIs attacks in places like Tunisia:

a) Aimed by ISIS at ruining the economy, bringing down governemnt and hopefully taking over a state?

or

b) Just performed by some young nutters who think joining up with ISIS is a good idea and they need no other purpose than to kill westerners (for some reason), with the hotel/Tunis being easy targets?
 
Likes: Futurist

Similar History Discussions