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Elite Change in an Authoritarian Regime:
Co-opting an Islamic Movement in Algeria

by Noura Hamladji

English / Arabic
January 2003

ABSTRACT

By focusing on the emergence of an Islamist elite in Algeria, this paper identifies the conditions under which co-optation processes stabilize authoritarian regimes. It first provides an empirical assessment on the presence of MSP-Hamas elite in state institutions, which reveals that their co-optation is symbolic in terms of power sharing. This in turn brings about the question of what were the expectations of the actors involved in the co-optation process. While MSP-Hamas leaders expected to strengthen their party in order to take over power, it appears that they failed in their attempts to gain more influence in the decision-making process. The analysis presented here shows that it is the very conditions under which this elite was co-opted that precluded it to undermine the authoritarian incumbents' hold on power.

 

CONTENTS

 

List of Abbreviations 

 

List of Terms 

 

Abstract 

 

Introduction 

 

Chapter 1: Assessing the Emergence of MSP-Hamas Elite

 

1.1   Government

1.2   Assemblies

 

Chapter 2: The Expectations Evolution of Actors Involved in

                    the Co-optation Process

 

2.1         The Co-opters’ Expectations: the Benefits of

              Co-opting a “Moderate” Islamist Party

2.2         The Co-opteds’ Expectations: Maximizing the Moucharaka (participation)

 

Chapter 3:  The Mechanisms of Co-optation of MSP-Hamas

                      Elite

 

3.1               The Impossible Mass Mobilization and the Over-valuation of a Minority Group 

3.2               The Unobtainable Support from the Top and the Authoritarian Incumbents’ Consensus 

 

Conclusion

 

Appendices:

 

Algeria at a Glance

 

Map of Algeria

 

References

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