From Dalia's list on the North African version of North Korea: Algeria.
One of my favorite books of its kind and I do not think I have read a better book about this topic ever since. It explains the critical role that the military plays in stabilizing authoritarian regimes in Egypt, Algeria, and until recently, Turkey. It also analyses how informal politics can restrict formal democratic institutions. In this book, Cook perfectly grasps how the military works in these countries and explains it in a clear and accessible style. The book is simply captivating and a must-read.
Ruling But Not Governing
Why should I read it?
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What is this book about?
"Ruling But Not Governing" highlights the critical role that the military plays in the stability of the Egyptian, Algerian, and, until recently, Turkish political systems. This in-depth study demonstrates that while the soldiers and materiel of Middle Eastern militaries form the obvious outer perimeter of regime protection, it is actually the less apparent, multilayered institutional legacies of military domination that play the decisive role in regime maintenance. Steven A. Cook uncovers the complex and nuanced character of the military's interest in maintaining a facade of democracy. He explores how an authoritarian elite hijack seemingly democratic practices such as elections, multiparty…
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