Keeping up with the times: the growth in support from non-state actors for the Polisario Front liberation movement
Published in Social currents in the Maghreb - London, Hurst, 2020
Recommended citation: Wilson, A. (2018). " 'Keeping up with the times: the growth in support from non-state actors for the Polisario Front liberation movement.' In Abi-Mershid, O. (ed.) " Social currents in the Maghreb (London, Hurst), pp. 143-163. . https://global.oup.com/academic/product/social-currents-in-north-africa-9780190876036?cc=us?=en&lang=en&
How does an armed liberation movement cultivate support from different actors over changing historical contexts? This chapter examines the changing importance of the support of state and nonstate actors for the Polisario liberation movement for Western Sahara. The support of state actors, including Algeria, has been important from Polisario’s inception; nonstate actors such as European activists and NGOs also gave crucial support in the movement’s early years. Yet over the 1990s and 2000s, the support of non-state actors has become increasingly important. These non-state actors include the growing Sahrawi diaspora, especially the diaspora in Spain, but also new Non-Government Organizations (NGOs) and multi-lateral organizations’ support, such as sponsorship for infrastructure or government personnel in the Sahrawi refugee camps. The support of these new nonstate actors in the post-Cold War period has allowed Polisario to undertake new kinds of governance activities.