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Algeria: When Elections Hurt Democracy

Author: Frederic Volpi

In: Journal of Democracy, Vol 31, No 2, 2020, pp. 152-165

Volpi explores the advantages and disadvantages of leaderless mass movements such as the Hirak. Their ability to challenge the 'pseudodemocratic' mechanisms used by authoritarian elites is a strong point, but a key weakness is inability to create alternative institutional approaches.  He also argues that the December 2019 election ensured the ruling elite remained in power, but undermined their legitimacy.