The importance of radical ideology in the Sahel and Maghreb stems from its instrumental value and normative commitments. For rebel leaders, radical ideology helps their groups recruit and stand out from the rest of the pack.
It has long been an axiom among the rulers of each Maghrebi country to brandish their rhetorical commitment to regional integration while often-shamelessly suffocating the principles and prospects of unity.
Nearly a decade after the Arab uprisings, tempers in the outlying regions of the Maghreb are on the boil. Scarred by a history of states’ neglect, with poverty rates often more than triple that of urban areas, these frontiers of discontent are being transformed into incubators of instability.
Joseph Bahout is a visiting scholar in Carnegie’s Middle East Program. His research focuses on political developments in Lebanon and Syria, regional spillover from the Syrian crisis, and identity politics across the region.
Senior Fellow Democracy, Conflict, and Governance Program
Sarah Chayes is internationally recognized for her innovative thinking on corruption and its implications. Her work explores how severe corruption can help prompt such crises as terrorism, revolutions and their violent aftermaths, and environmental degradation.
Sarah Yerkes is a fellow in Carnegie’s Middle East Program, where her research focuses on Tunisia’s political, economic, and security developments as well as state-society relations in the Middle East and North Africa.
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