This article is the English version of : Geoff D. Porter, « Le non-interventionisme de l’Algérie en questions », published in Politique étrangère, Vol. 80, Issue 3, 2015.
Algeria is one of the few countries in the world that so clearly and so consistently articulates its foreign policy principles. Ever since independence in 1962, Algeria has adhered to a foundational principle of non-interventionism. Article 26 of Algeria’s 1989 and 1996 constitutions states: “Algeria does not resort to war in order to undermine the legitimate sovereignty and the freedom of other peoples. It puts forth its efforts to settle international disputes through peaceful means.” While other aspects of the Algerian constitution have been flexibly implemented, Article 26 is almost never challenged or questioned. (Article 89 of the 1976 Constitution contains similar wording, although the original 1963 constitution did not.) Unlike other countries, which may or may not engage in cross-border or extraterritorial conflicts according to specific circumstances and in pursuit of specific interests, Algeria never does. This position has numerous advantages, but also significant disadvantages. The unprecedented worsening security situation surrounding Algeria in Libya, Mali, and Tunisia will put the country’s commitment to its principles to its hardest test yet.