About Francis Ghilès

Francis Ghilès is senior research fellow at the Barcelona Centre for International Affairs (Cidob). He was the Financial Times's north Africa correspondent from 1981-95, and now contributes to newspapers such as the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Le Monde, El Pais and La Vanguardia. He is a specialist in emerging energy markets and their relationship to political trends, and has advised western governments and corporations working in north Africa

Articles by Francis Ghilès

This week's editor

Mariam Ali

Mariam Ali is Associate Editor for openDemocracy's Arab Awakening page.

Constitutional conventions: best practice

Tunisia, bridging the gulf

The terrorist attack in Tunis highlights the challenges facing Tunisia's new government and underlines the need for western support in meeting them.

Algeria: diplomacy and regional security

Algeria's efforts to resolve crises in Libya and Mali are informed by its longstanding experience of regional diplomacy.

Libya, containing the danger

The chaos in Libya will not be stopped by lazy rhetoric or easy options. The country's neighbours, Tunisia and Algeria, can teach the west a lesson. 

France's identity crisis: seeds of change

The traumatic attacks in Paris provoked agonised public debate. But to be productive this needs to range more deeply through France's colonial history and modern society. 

Tunisia: the Arab exception's test

The probable election victory of Béji Caid Essebsi is a vital moment in the pioneer country of the Arab revolts. It also reveals the scale of Tunisia's economic challenges.

Algeria, football, and France's "black box"

The political misuse and misreading of events involving Algerians in France are an obstacle to true understanding.

North African diversities: Algeria in flux

Algeria’s circles of power and their relationship to a complex society and history are hard to grasp. Francis Ghilès describes his own route to understanding the country in the post-independence era, when the heavy legacy of the past mixed with the confident idealism of the present.

Tunisia, from hope to delivery

Tunisia has turned a political corner. But great economic problems remain which require careful management and good government, says Francis Ghilès.

North African diversities: Algerian tales, Maghrebi dreams

A career in journalism took Francis Ghilès to the heart of power in the post-independence states of Algeria, Morocco and Tunisia. He saw at first hand how the oil and natural-gas industries in Algeria fuelled state ambitions, political rivalries and dreams of open frontiers. In a rich personal reflection, he asks whether the legacy of these years - including current threats to security and livelihood, from terrorism to unemployment - can lead the Maghreb and its European neighbour at last to cooperate in their shared interest. 

North African diversities: a Moroccan odyssey

The evolution of Morocco under its monarchy makes it in many ways an exception to political trends elsewhere in the Maghreb, let alone the wider Arab world. In the latest of his series mixing personal reflection and political analysis, Francis Ghilès reflects on his years of reporting the country and interrogating its circles of power.

North African diversities: an Algerian odyssey

Algeria wrested independence from France in 1962 after a bitter and extremely violent eight-year struggle. The legacy has continued to shadow its efforts to create a workable model of development and a humane life for its citizens. Francis Ghilès invokes a wealth of memory from his years reporting Algeria - in particular, a pivotal few months in 1991 - to reflect on a compelling country's troubled half-century.

North African diversities: a Tunisian odyssey

Tunisia's modern history, from the late French colonial period to the rule of two long-term presidents, has been a constant presence in the life of the journalist Francis Ghilès. Here he reflects on how this experience - familial, social, professional - has over six decades shaped his understanding of Tunisia's complexities. 

North African diversities: a personal odyssey

The era of European colonial rule in the Maghreb was one of great plurality and intermingling of cultures as well as of power and violence. Several of these currents flow through the life of the respected journalist and scholar Francis Ghilès. Here, he draws on a remarkable familial and professional journey to reflect on the experience of Tunisia, Algeria, and Morocco since the 1950s, and asks whether Europe can meet the test of a new era in the region.

Syndicate content