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Boston University School of Law




The recent centennial of Albert Camus’s birth has had little resonance in EU legal scholarship. Yet Camus’s work is a natural entry point into the EU’s trade relations with the global south, and Algeria’s case is a particularly salient one, given the oft-ignored fact that for five years the Algerian nation was a part of the European Economic Community. The onset of a free trade regime between the EU and the former colonies or territories of its member states is often touted as the culminating point in a line of constant progress, from dependency to autonomy and from asymmetry to parity. But a closer look at the experience of Algeria reveals that massive trade diversion resulted, in a not so distant past, from the very birth of the Common Market, and that current policies are not adequately redressing the effects of such lopsided arrangements. The point of these pages, linking the 1960s death of Algeria’s wine exports to the country’s ongoing struggle to diversify its economy, is not to provide generalizable lessons or overarching guidelines for the trade policies of developed nations. The goal is rather to invite particularized, textured inquiries into the meaning of free trade between the EU and each of its partners, taking into account the specific legacies of older patterns of commerce.


Published as: "Trade and History: The Case of EU-Algeria Relations," Boston University International Law Journal Online (Feb 17, 2015).

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