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The Berber identity movement in North Africa was pioneered by the Kabyles of Algeria. But a preoccupation with identity and language has obscured the fact that Kabyle dissidence has been rooted in democratic aspirations inspired by the political traditions of Kabylia itself, a Berber-speaking region in the north of Algeria. The political organisation of pre-colonial Kabylia, from which these traditions originate, was well-described by nineteenth-century French ethnographers. But their inability to explain it led to a trend amongst later theorists of Berber society, such as Ernest Gellner and Pierre Bourdieu, to dismiss Kabylia's political institutions, notably the jema'a (assembly or council), and to reduce Berber politics to a function of social structure and shared religion. In Berber Government, Hugh Roberts, a renowned expert on North Africa, uncovers and explores the remarkable logics of Kabyle political organisation. Combining political anthropology and political and social history in an interdisciplinary analysis, Roberts challenges the excessive emphasis on kinship and religion in the study of the Maghreb.
The Berber identity movement in North Africa was pioneered by the Kabyles of Algeria. But a preoccupation with identity and language has obscured the fact that Kabyle dissidence has been rooted in democratic aspirations inspired by the political traditions of Kabylia itself, a Berber-speaking region in the north of Algeria. The political organisation of pre-colonial Kabylia, from which these traditions originate, was well described by nineteenth-century French authors. But their inability to explain it encouraged later theorists of Berber society, such as Ernest Gellner and Pierre Bourdieu, to dismiss Kabylia’s political institutions, notably the jema‘a (assembly or council), and to reduce Berber politics to a function of social structure and shared religion. In Berber Government, Hugh Roberts, a renowned expert on North Africa, explores the remarkable logics of Kabyle political organisation and the unusual degree of autonomy it possessed in relation to both kinship divisions and the religious field. This book further offers a pioneering account of the social and political history of Kabylia during the Ottoman period and establishes a radically new way to understand the complex place of the Kabyles in Algerian politics.
The Berber identity movement in North Africa was pioneered by the Kabyles of Algeria. But a preoccupation with identity and language has obscured the fact that Kabyle dissidence has been rooted in democratic aspirations inspired by the political traditions of Kabylia itself, a Berber-speaking region in the north of Algeria. The political organisation of pre-colonial Kabylia, from which these traditions originate, was well described by nineteenth-century French authors. But their inability to explain it encouraged later theorists of Berber society, such as Ernest Gellner and Pierre Bourdieu, to dismiss Kabylia's political institutions, notably the jema'a (assembly or council), and to reduce Berber politics to a function of social structure and shared religion. In Berber Government, Hugh Roberts, a renowned expert on North Africa, explores the remarkable logics of Kabyle political organisation and the unusual degree of autonomy it possessed in relation to both kinship divisions and the religious field. This book further offers a pioneering account of the social and political history of Kabylia during the Ottoman period and establishes a radically new way to understand the complex place of the Kabyles in Algerian politics.
Imperial Identities is a groundbreaking book that addresses identity formation in colonial Algeria of two predominant ethnicities and analyzes French attitudes in the context of nineteenth-century ideologies. Patricia M. E. Lorcin explores the process through which ethnic categories and cultural distinctions were developed and used as instruments of social control in colonial society. She examines the circumstances that gave rise to and the influences that shaped the colonial images of “good” Kabyle and “bad” Arab (usually referred to as the Kabyle myth) in Algeria. In this new edition of Imperial Identities, Lorcin addresses the related scholarship that has appeared since the book’s original publication, looks at postindependence issues relevant to the Arab/Berber question, and discusses the developments in Algeria and France connected to Arab/Berber politics, including the 1980 Berber Spring and the 1992–2002 civil war. The new edition also contains a full and updated bibliography.
The Cold War was a period of intense geopolitical rivalry, in which diplomacy and international relations in Asia and the Middle East acquired huge global significance. In this study, Panagiotis Dimitrakis explores British policy towards SEATO (South East Asia Treaty Organization) and CENTO (Central Treaty Organization). Designed in the 1950s to counter the Soviet Union’s attempts to expand its global influence, these alliances with Asian and Middle Eastern powers were the focus of Western efforts to maintain their regional presence. Yet they failed to bring together the differing aims and ambitions of their regional members, and were dissolved in 1977 and 1979 respectively. This study, based on recently declassified documents, examines the Cold War policies of the United States, Iran, and Turkey as well as Pakistan’s relations with India and the effects of British diplomacy on the war in Vietnam. Charting the repeated failures of Britain and the United States to come to the defence of their allies in Asia and the Middle East, Failed Alliances of the Cold War will be a crucial point of reference for scholars of the Cold War.
The violence that has ravaged Algeria has often defied explanation. Regularly invoked in debates about political Islam, transitions to democracy, globalization, and the right of humanitarian interference, Algeria’s tragedy has been reduced to a clash of stereotypes: Islamists vs. a secular state, terrorists vs. innocent civilians, or generals vs. a defenseless society. The prevalence of such simplistic representations has disabled public opinion inside as well as outside the country and contributed to the intractability of the conflict. This collection of essays offers a radical corrective to Western misconceptions. Rejecting the usual tautological approaches of inherent, predetermined conflict, Hugh Roberts explores the outlook and evolution of the various internal forces as they emerged—the Islamists, the Berberists, the factions within the army, and the regime in general—and he looks at external interests and actors. He explains their strategies and the maneuvers in which they have engaged. The resulting analyses illuminate the startling dynamics of the conflict and the real issues at stake, and identify the implications not only for Algeria but also for this crucial region. Informed by a deep knowledge of Algeria and Algerian history, these accessible essays guide the reader through the extraordinary politics of the drama in all its complexity.
In 1958 the Middle East and the Arab World were in historic crises. Lebanon was in civil turmoil. Iraq underwent a revolution. The Arab world seemed to be splitting from the West and re-aligning itself with the communist world. This collection of essays address the issues raised by the events of that year and their consequences.

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