The Roots of Algeria's Religious and Ethnic Violence
Studies in Conflict & Terrorism
abstract
Although the existing literature on Algeria's civil conflict recognizes the role of religious and ethnic violence in the crisis, it does not sufficiently explain the various reasons behind it. The main aim of this article is to fill in this gap to some extent by examining the main factors determining the emergence of armed religious and ethnic groups in this country. The basic conclusion to emerge from the analysis is that, although such factors as the closure of the country's political space, state repression, and the growth of atavistic sentiments remain important in explaining Algeria's religious and ethnic violence, economic collapse, religious spending, and diversionary politics are variables that should not be ignored when addressing the sources and sustainability of such violence.