Date of Award


Document Type

Open Access

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts


Political Science

First Advisor

Michelle Angrist




This thesis explores the evolution of modern Algerian politics and the transition of the Algerian government from a colonized nation to a free state. In the second half of the 20th century Algeria was plagued with war and violence from both internal and external enemies. The Algerian War for Independence and the Algerian Civil War are frequently viewed as two separate conflicts with little or no ties yet after researching the two, one can draw a large number of parallels leading to the conclusion that the actions of the French in the War for Independence were strikingly similar to those of the Algerian administration in the 1990s. In addition, it can be claimed that the actions of the FLN in the 1950s greatly influenced the FIS policy of the 1990s. Finally, it could also be hypothesized that had the French pulled out of Algeria after the first year of the “Phony War” in 1955, the course of Algerian politics would have been altered significantly towards a more peaceful outcome. It is not solely the actors in the conflicts that remained similar, but tactics and events as well as political actions and propaganda transcended the thirty years between the conflicts. When finally given the chance to be a free nation, the FLN and Algerian administration knew of no other way to govern than that of its European predecessor while the FIS knew of no other way to express its discontent than through a violent revolution like that of the FLN. The victims of the War for Independence now became the victimizers, with a new organization garnering sympathy for their cause. After nearly fifty years of political liberation, the Algerians have created a cyclical pattern where violence and political success have become mutually exclusive and change must come at the cost of hundreds of thousands of lives.