Why Sudan Succeeded Where Algeria Failed

Issue Date October 2021
Volume 32
Issue 4
Page Numbers 102–14
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In April 2019, mass uprisings in Algeria and Sudan toppled their longtime dictators. Yet the two countries’ paths soon diverged. Protesters in Sudan secured a pact with the regime’s remnants and embarked on a democratic transition. Protesters in Algeria, however, rallied until May 2021 but could not compel a regime transition. This divergence stems from: 1) the level of organization among protesters; 2) the degree of unity of the regime’s security forces; and 3) the extent of international mediation. A comparison of Algeria and Sudan points to the importance of pacted transitions and sheds new light on the factors that facilitate such pacts.

About the Author

Sharan Grewal is assistant professor of government at William & Mary and nonresident fellow in the Center for Middle East Policy at the Brookings Institution. His research focuses on democratization, religion, and civil-military relations in the Arab world.

View all work by Sharan Grewal