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Savage Wars? Codes of violence in Algeria, 1830s – 1990s

McDougall, James (2005) 'Savage Wars? Codes of violence in Algeria, 1830s – 1990s.' Third World Quarterly, 26 (1). pp. 117-131.

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Abstract

Political violence in Algeria has often been accounted for only by recourse to caricatures of a society supposedly `intensely violent' by nature, or else rationalised as the product of a peculiar political culture and national historical experience. Departing from both approaches, this article suggests that different occurrences of both state and non-state violence must be understood as particular, distinct moments in both the recomposition and breakdown of inherently conflictual social relations. While Algerian history (including colonial history) provides many examples of the non-violent negotiation of social and political tensions, the social production and experience of violence have been written into dominant historiographies and public culture in complex ways. These complexities of the successive ways in which different moments of violence have been encoded belie both theories of the inescapable reproduction of cyclical violence as a pattern of political behaviour, and less sophisticated, but enduring, clichés of `Algerian savagery'.

Item Type: Articles
SOAS Departments & Centres: Faculty of Arts and Humanities > Department of History
ISSN: 01436597
DOI (Digital Object Identifier): 10.1080/0143659042000322946
Depositing User: James McDougal
Date Deposited: 05 Feb 2009 11:29
URI: http://eprints.soas.ac.uk/id/eprint/6309

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