Lecture given as part of the SOAS 'Contemporary Middle East Lecture Series'.
Abstract: On 22 February 2019, Algeria saw the emergence of a peaceful movement for democracy, which brought ordinary people to the streets on an unprecedented scale. Known as the hirak, weekly marches of millions led to President Bouteflika standing down, and to senior politicians and business elites being arrested and tried for corruption. Largely led and inspired by young people, and with roots in civil society developments over the past two decades, this phenomenal mobilisation continued until 2020 and the global covid19 pandemic. How did Algerians take on such a powerful regime, without violence, despite deep frustrations and a history of violent political change? What are the implications for future democratic reform, civil society and citizenship and how do young people imagine the future of a new Algeria?