After the Apocalypse: Catastrophizing Politics in Post-Civil War Algeria


Abstract


This paper examines the role of the civil war (1992–1999) in Algerian politics. It draws on Adi Ophir’s notion of catastrophization and Walter Benjamin’s conception of history to understand the fragile status quo under the presidency of Boutelika (1999–2019). Post-conflict stabilization led to the emergence of a political system in which the “Dark Decade” served as a regulatory framework supporting the existing political equilibrium. The war became a key element in a common political repertoire that shaped discourses, oriented policies, and conditioned the strategies of actors. At the same time, the persistence of structural issues that led to the violence of the 1990s (terrorism, political crisis, economic inequalities) legitimated the idea that the past could repeat itself at any moment. Thus, while ensuring the short-term resilience of the regime, catastrophizing politics also contributed to the pervasive revolutionary situation that characterized post-civil war Algeria.

 



DOI Code: 10.1285/i20398573v5n1p55

Keywords: Algeria; Catastrophization; Human Security; Authoritarian Upgrading; Walter Benjamin

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