Returning the aging and ailing Abdelaziz Bouteflika to the presidency for a fourth term, the April 17 elections in Algeria delivered few surprises—much to the relief of the United States, France and the Algerian economic and political elite. At the same time, some Algerians questioned the legitimacy of the electoral process, whether by staying home in large numbers or through violent clashes in Kayblia, the Berber region in the northeast. Bouteflika’s supporters at home and abroad repeatedly underlined the necessity of stability in Algeria, a country with violent Islamist movements in the Sahara and one that suffered an exceedingly bloody […]

On July 23, 1999, Morocco’s ruler, King Hassan II, died and was succeeded by his eldest son, Mohammed VI. Many Moroccans hoped that the succession would also entail a transition from a system of autocratic rule to a liberal democracy, and the new king’s early initiatives seemed likely to give substance to these hopes. Now, 15 years later, it is possible to see to what extent those hopes have been fulfilled and, if they have not, to determine why and to what degree they have been disappointed. The expectations for the new reign did not emerge, of course, in a […]