When this small island kingdom in the Gulf joined the wider Arab world’s political upheavals in March 2011, it was a reaction to regional events, but also a reflection of internal problems that had been festering for a decade.
Not only did the Algerian regime survive the “Arab Spring,” it hardly deviated from its normal methods of authoritarian governance—patronage, pseudodemocratization, and effective use of the security apparatus.
The Arab world’s old autocracies survived by manipulating the sharp identity conflicts in their societies. The division and distrust that this style of rule generated is now making it especially difficult to carry out the kind of pact-making often crucial to successful democratic transitions.
The Putin regime, having faced its first real challenge in the form of mass protests after the 2011 Duma elections, is responding with a series of laws intended to intimidate its civil-society opposition, if not stamp it out altogether.
President Rafael Correa, now entering his third term, has built a curious form of populist-authoritarian regime. He champions redistributionism and a kind of technocratic leftism while assaulting the traditional left along with such mainstays of a liberal society as the freedom of the press.