In a talk based on his most recent book, Dr. Lahouari attempts to assess the history and political legacy of radical Arab nationalism to show that it contained the seeds of its own destruction. While the revolutionary regimes promised economic and social development and sought the unity of Arab nations, they did not account for social transformations, such as freedom of speech, that would eventually lead to their decline. But while radical Arab nationalism fell apart, authoritarian populism did not disappear. Today it is expressed by political Islam that aims to achieve the kind of social justice radical Arab nationalism once promised.
Lahouari Addi is a professor at the Institut d'Études Politiques at the University of Lyon, and research fellow at the Centre de recherche en anthropologie sociale et culturelle in Oran, Algeria. He is the author of numerous books and articles on North Africa and political Islam, including "Deux anthropologues au Maghreb: Ernest Gellner et Clifford Geertz" and "L'Algérie et la Democratie."