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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 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.
This fourth edition of Historical Dictionary of Algeria covers its history through a chronology, an introductory essay, appendixes, and an extensive bibliography. The dictionary section has over 700 cross-referenced entries on important personalities, politics, economy, foreign relations, religion, and culture.
Beginning in January 2011, the Arab world exploded in a vibrant demand for dignity, liberty, and achievable purpose in life, rising up against an image and tradition of arrogant, corrupt, unresponsive authoritarian rule. These previously unpublished, countryspecific case studies of the uprisings and their still unfolding political aftermaths identify patterns and courses of negotiation and explain why and how they occur. The contributors argue that in uprisings like the Arab Spring negotiation is "not just a 'nice' practice or a diplomatic exercise." Rather, it is a "dynamically multilevel" process involving individuals, groups, and states with continually shifting priorities--and with the prospect of violence always near. From that perspective, the essaysits analyze a range of issues and events--including civil disobedience and strikes, mass demonstrations and nonviolent protest, and peaceful negotiation and armed rebellion--and contextualize their findings within previous struggles, both within and outside the Middle East. The Arab countries discussed include Algeria, Bahrain, Egypt, Libya, Morocco, Syria, Tunisia, and Yemen. The Arab Spring uprisings are discussed in the context of rebellions in countries like South Africa and Serbia, while the Libyan uprising is also viewed in terms of the negotiations it provoked within NATO. Collectively, the essays analyze the challenges of uprisers and emerging governments in building a new state on the ruins of a liberated state; the negotiations that lead either to sustainable democracy or sectarian violence; and coalition building between former political and military adversaries. Contributors: Samir Aita (Monde Diplomatique), Alice Alunni (Durham University), Marc Anstey* (Nelson Mandela University), Abdelwahab ben Hafaiedh (MERC), Maarten Danckaert (European-Bahraini Organization for Human Rights), Heba Ezzat (Cairo University), Amy Hamblin (SAIS), Abdullah Hamidaddin (King's College), Fen Hampson* (Carleton University), Roel Meijer (Clingendael), Karim Mezran (Atlantic Council), Bessma Momani (Waterloo University), Samiraital Pres (Cercle des Economistes Arabes), Aly el Raggal (Cairo University), Hugh Roberts (ICG/Tufts University), Johannes Theiss (Collège d'Europe), Sinisa Vukovic (Leiden University), I. William Zartman* (SAIS-JHU). [* Indicates group members of the Processes of International Negotiation (PIN) Program at Clingendael, Netherlands]
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 Saudi religious reform movement of the 18th and 19th centuries, known in the west as Wahhabism, is one of the most controversial and misunderstood religious movements of the modern Middle East. This biography of its founder, Muhammad Ibn Abd Al-Wahhab, is the first serious English-language account written not from a Western, but an Arabian perspective. Based on exhaustive research of primary sources, Abd-Allah Salih Al-Uthaimin reconstructs the social, political and spiritual environment of the Arabian peninsula in the time of Ibn Abd Al-Wahhab. The author charts this movement's intellectual development and growing sway, and unpicks the historic alliance of its founder with the House of Al-Saud: a uniquely close partnership of political and religious relationships whose legacy is felt in the Saudi state to this day. Al-Uthaimin also provides a detailed exposition and commentary on Ibn Abd Al-Wahhab's doctrines, based on his published and unpublished works, and explains his perspective on concepts such as tawhid, takfir and sharia. This meticulously researched biography offers a unique insight into its complex and often controversial subject. As such, it will become essential reading for anyone interested in political Islam, Saudi Arabia and the modern Middle East.

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