NARCO Analysis: Astroturf Oil & Gas Protests in Algeria and Tunisia
Resource regionalism first began to appear in North Africa in the wake of the Arab Spring. Two vectors were converging and producing a new trend of increased competition for natural resources in North Africa. On the one hand, oil and gas companies and mining companies were exploring for and ultimately exploiting natural resources in or near new communities. On the other hand, the events of the Arab Spring had simultaneously raised popular expectations that things would change for the better and had encouraged populist protest as a form of political expression. In short, extractive industries were expanding and they were likely to encounter populations that were more politically active than they were before.