During the 1970s, owing to their oil 'rents', Algeria, Iraq and Libya all seemed engaged in a swift modernization process. Oil was the godsend that would enable these states to catch up economically. Algeria was a Mediterranean dragon, Libya an emirate, and Iraq the rising military power of the Arab world. From a political perspective, progressive socialism suggested that profound changes were underway: women's liberation, urbanization, education for all, longer life expectancy and so on. A few decades later, the disillusion is a cruel one. The sense of wealth led these countries to undertake political, economic and military experiments that would lead to impasses with disastrous consequences that they are still trying to overcome. How did it all happen? Can these countries dispense with far-reaching reforms? Can the EU export its norms and values and protect its gas supply? The present work offers the first global approach to the subject.
About the Author
Luis Martinez is a Senior Research Fellow at CERI/Sciences Po in Paris. He has been a Visiting Professor at Columbia University, New York (2000-2001) and at the University of Montreal (2007-2008). A political scientist and a specialist on the Maghreb and the Middle East, his books include The Algerian Civil War, 1990-1998 (Hurst, 2000), The Libyan Paradox (Hurst, 2007) and, co-edited with A. Blom and L. Bucaille, The Enigma of Islamist Violence (Hurst, 2007).
Table of Contents
1. Capturing the Rent
2. The Illusory Power of Oil
3. Oil Rent and Mafia Regimes
4. The Unforeseen Return of Financial Abundance
5. Algeria, Libya and the Challenge of the European