Algeria post Arab Spring: The Forced Virtualisation of the Borders

  • Louisa Dris-Ait Hamadouche University of Political Sciences and International Relations Algiers 3 - Algeria


Algeria is the core of the Maghreb and shares land borders with seven countries Maghreb and Sahel countries. However, since 2011, none of the seven land borders is stable and secure. So, even if Algeria is considered as a stable country, this stability is fragile and is likely to be more precarious if the country has to face simultaneously an economic crisis and delicate presidential succession. Domestic incertitude coupled to regional conflicts puts the Algerian borders under unprecedented pressure. Consequently, almost all the governmental declarations expressed worries about the vulnerability of the borders, and assurances about the security services determination to assure the state security.  However, to what extant this promise can be entirely fulfilled, regarding the borders’ characteristics and the specificity of the context? Why is the virtualization of the borders forced ? As regards to the growing permeability of the borders, can their militarization guarantee their security? 


Bellil Rachid , Dida Badi , « Evolution de la relation entre Kel Ahaggar et Kel Adagh ». In Hélène Brachet Julien, Choplin Armelle, Pliez Olivier, « Le Sahara entre espace de circulation et frontière migratoire de l'Europe». In Hérodote, 2011,

Caulderwood Katheleene, “Drugs And Money In The Sahara: How The Global Cocaine Trade Is Funding North African Jihadâ€, International Business Times, 06/05/15,

Claudot-Hawad (dir.), Le politique dans l’histoire Touarègue. Aix-en-Provence : CNRS-Université d’Aix-Marseille, 1993.

IEEE, IMDEP, Terrorisme et trafic de drogues en Afrique Sub-Saharienne, Institut Espagnol d'Études Stratégiques (IEEE) et Institut Militaire de Documentation, de l'Évaluation et Prospective (IMDEP), p.09

Lounas Djalil, “Confronting Al-Qa’ida in the Islamic Maghrib in the Sahel: Algeria and the Malian crisisâ€. In Journal of North African Studies, 2014, Vol. 19, No. 5 p. 815

Manijeh Navidnia, “Securitization of Borders: Is There a Better Way?â€, 14/07/2014,

Nixon Sam, « Tadmekka. Archéologie d’une ville caravanière des premiers temps du commerce transsaharien ». Afriques, N°4, 2013.

OCDE, Un Atlas du Sahara Sahel, 2014

Raballand Gaël, Bensassi Sami, Brockmeyer Anne et Pellerin Matthieu, La Normalité de l’informalité: Une estimation du commerce informel entre le Mali et l’Algérie, conference presented in CREAD, Division : Firmes et Economie industrielle, Algiers, 25/01/2014

United Nations Office on Drugs and Crimes, World Drug Report 2014.

Themes and perspectives