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Approaching the Other
François Burgat

In September 1973, after this “round-the-world trip,” I moved to Algeria. Since my PhD also involved teaching at the Law faculty of the University of Constantine, this also meant leaving strictly student life behind. It is at this stage that I took up a less impressionistic, more professional, and more systematic approach to knowledge. Algeria—which had, via cousins from there, filled my adolescent imagination—was no longer quite unknown to me. It had not been a part of my “small” tour of the Mediterranean. But

in Understanding Political Islam
The international connection
Francesco Cavatorta

3 Explaining Algeria’s transition: the international connection This chapter has three main objectives. First of all it aims to construct a framework of transitions that includes international variables, using theoretical assumptions drawn from international relations theories. Such framework can also help understand the subsequent role that the country under examination will play in the international system. The second objective is to specify the components of this framework. In particular, it will focus on detailing the two fundamental dimensions briefly

in The international dimension of the failed Algerian transition
George Joffé

Introduction The independent Algerian state was born through extreme violence and, during its more than five decades of independent existence, has experienced repeated episodes of violent political convulsion. Indeed, since 1980, violence has been the leitmotif of Algeria's political evolution and, since the mid-1980s, this has often taken the form of non-state terrorist extremism, 1 particularly during the 1990s when the country was plunged into civil war. Since the civil war ended at the start of the twenty-first century, the country has

in Non-Western responses to terrorism
Martin Thomas

At 10.45 on the morning of 15 March 1962 two ‘commando squads’ of the Organisation de l’Armée secrète (OAS), broke into a meeting of educational administrators in El Biar, a satellite suburb west of Algiers. An extremist group determined to keep colonial Algeria French, the OAS was in the midst of a terror campaign in defiance of Algeria’s imminent independence. Led by

in Rhetorics of empire
Unity and division in the liberation struggle
Allison Drew

(French Union) ‘based on equality of rights and obligations without distinction of race or religion’. But the colonial relationship remained intact. The new constitution allowed some representation of colonised peoples in the new National Assembly and French Union Assembly. Other reforms included the abolition of forced labour, the indigénat, and – except for Algeria - the dual college electoral system

in We are no longer in France
Guy Austin

It has become a commonplace that ‘Algerian cinema was born out of the war of independence and served that war’ (Salmane 1976 : 5). Film in Algeria also preserved the memory of that war, legitimising the FLN regime after independence by mythologising the liberation struggle. State-controlled culture played an important role in the formation of a national imaginary after 1962, thus fulfilling

in Algerian national cinema
Francesco Cavatorta

4 The external context of the Algerian transition Before analysing whether the hypotheses outlined in Chapter 3 are confirmed by the evidence gathered, it is necessary to describe in greater detail the external environment with which Algeria had to contend before, during and after its problematic transition. The external environment Huntington’s study (1991: 45) of why so many countries democratised or attempted to do so at a particular moment sees ‘the unprecedented global economic growth of the 1960s’ as central. In Algeria however, the timing of the process

in The international dimension of the failed Algerian transition
Democracy betrayed?

This book builds a theoretical framework through which previously neglected international factors are brought into the analyses of transitions to democracy. It then explores the case of Algeria. It contributes to the literature on democratisation and provides an analysis of Algerian politics during the last two decades. More specifically, it examines how international variables influence the behaviour and activities of Algerian political actors. By bridging the comparative politics and international relations literature, the book offers a new understanding of the initiation, development and outcome of transitions to democracy. International factors, far from being marginal and secondary, are treated as central explanatory variables. Such external factors were crucial in the failed Algerian transition to democracy, when the attitudes and actions of key international actors shaped the domestic game and its final outcome. In particular, the book looks at the controversial role of the Islamic Salvation Front and how its part was perceived abroad. In addition, it argues that international factors significantly contribute to explaining the persistence of authoritarian rule in Algeria, to its integration into the global economy and its co-optation into the war on terror.

Guy Austin

Being Algerian has been described as ‘the most complicated history of citizenship in the world’ (Khanna 2008 : 70). Algeria combines an ancient Berber culture with the historical influence of diverse invasions and colonial occupations (Carthaginian, Roman, Vandal, Arab, Byzantine, Egyptian, Spanish, Ottoman and French). For Pierre Bourdieu, the French sociologist who worked on Algeria throughout his career, this complex

in Algerian national cinema

In terms of the so-called 'clash of civilisations' after '9/11', Islamic states such as Algeria have too often been perceived in the West as 'other' and hence as threatening. This book, via an analysis of cinema, provides a discussion on some misunderstandings and assumptions about Algeria, which remains to a large extent underrepresented or misrepresented in the UK media. It is about Algerian national cinema and illuminates the ways in which the official mythologising of a national culture at the 'centre' of the postcolonial state has marginalised the diverse identities within the nation. Tahia ya didou occupies a pivotal position between fiction and documentary, capturing the hectic modernization of the Boumediene era while reflecting back on the aftermath of historical trauma. La Citadelle presents gender differences as culturally engrained and patriarchal power as secure. Youcef, Bab El-Oued City and Rome plutôt que vous present differing visions of how a Freudian melancholia in the shadow of a crushed revolt might relate to Algerian experience after Black October. Lettre à ma soeur listens to the voices of the subaltern; the film is a sense of re-emergence that follows the initial insurgency of Nabila's activism, the trauma of her killing and the subsequent years of silence and self-imposed incarceration.