Algeria’s Borderlands: A Country Unto Themselves

Author
Dalia Ghanem
Content Type
Working Paper
Institution
Carnegie Endowment for International Peace
Abstract
Smuggling goods across the border between Algeria and Tunisia has created a parallel economy for marginalized border populations. Law enforcement and smugglers alike must navigate these gray zones in state authority. In Algeria, state formation remains an evolving process, as evidenced by the situation in the country’s northeastern border regions. With Algerian officials in these areas permitting smuggling of petrol and certain other commodities over the border with Tunisia and smugglers weeding out security threats even as they go about their illicit trade, the two ostensibly adversarial parties complement each other. This unusual relationship furthers the intrusion of the state into citizens’ livelihoods even as it manipulates state authority.
Topic
Law Enforcement, Economy, Borders, Trade, Smuggling
Political Geography
Algeria, North Africa, Tunisia