so as to be
able to opt eventually as the winning side became evident.
1 This is a wider theoretical issue addressed constantly by historians of colonialism, ethnographers and ‘subaltern studies’: on Algerian women specifically see ‘Decolonizing Feminism’ in Lazreg, Eloquence, 6–19.
2 The only attempt to analyse the geographical variations in female militancy
is Djamila Amrane, ‘Répartition géographique des militantes de la guerre de
libération nationale (Algérie, 1954–1962)’, AWAL, 8 (1991), 1–19.
M1822 - MACMASTER TEXT.indd 234
, however, vigorously denied the allegations of wrongdoing36 and argued instead that responsibility lay chiefly with the Kosovo
Liberation Army (‘KLA’) and NATO. The KLA constituted a terrorist threat
to Serbia, against which Serbia lawfully defended itself. This defence did not
include ethnic cleansing – on the contrary, the KLA ordered the Kosovo population to flee in order to attract NATO support, and NATO bombings caused
further flight, destruction, and death.37 NATO intervention was part of a larger
strategy to secure global control. It stirred up conflicts between
In May 1958, and four years into the Algerian War of Independence, a revolt again appropriated the revolutionary and republican symbolism of the French Revolution by seizing power through a Committee of Public Safety. This book explores why a repressive colonial system that had for over a century maintained the material and intellectual backwardness of Algerian women now turned to an extensive programme of 'emancipation'. After a brief background sketch of the situation of Algerian women during the post-war decade, it discusses the various factors contributed to the emergence of the first significant women's organisations in the main urban centres. It was only after the outbreak of the rebellion in 1954 and the arrival of many hundreds of wives of army officers that the model of female interventionism became dramatically activated. The French military intervention in Algeria during 1954-1962 derived its force from the Orientalist current in European colonialism and also seemed to foreshadow the revival of global Islamophobia after 1979 and the eventual moves to 'liberate' Muslim societies by US-led neo-imperialism in Afghanistan and Iraq. For the women of Bordj Okhriss, as throughout Algeria, the French army represented a dangerous and powerful force associated with mass destruction, brutality and rape. The central contradiction facing the mobile socio-medical teams teams was how to gain the trust of Algerian women and to bring them social progress and emancipation when they themselves were part of an army that had destroyed their villages and driven them into refugee camps.
By expanding the geographical scope of the history of violence and war, this
volume challenges both Western and state-centric narratives of the decline of
violence and its relationship to modernity. It highlights instead similarities
across early modernity in terms of representations, legitimations, applications
of, and motivations for violence. It seeks to integrate methodologies of the
study of violence into the history of war, thereby extending the historical
significance of both fields of research. Thirteen case studies outline the
myriad ways in which large-scale violence was understood and used by states and
non-state actors throughout the early modern period across Africa, Asia, the
Americas, the Atlantic, and Europe, demonstrating that it was far more complex
than would be suggested by simple narratives of conquest and resistance.
Moreover, key features of imperial violence apply equally to large-scale
violence within societies. As the authors argue, violence was a continuum,
ranging from small-scale, local actions to full-blown war. The latter was
privileged legally and increasingly associated with states during early
modernity, but its legitimacy was frequently contested and many of its violent
forms, such as raiding and destruction of buildings and crops, could be found in
activities not officially classed as war.
After a short review and update regarding social and judicial changes until
the turn of the century in 1800, crime cases and marriage applications are
once more analysed separately for the same period. The fact that the number
of dispensations was rising dramatically from around the second half of the
eighteenth century is discussed in comparison to economic and cultural
changes and also placed in a wider European context. The material shows that
a significant change in practical assessments of incest cases took place
during the last decades of the century, even though the laws remained
exactly the same as before. The changes can be related to cultural changes
in society regarding religion, passion, family position, and age relations
between spouses. The final section of the chapter analyses the political
debates that followed, presenting the arguments for and against a liberation
of some incest prohibitions.
‘“Post-Christian Era”? Nonsense!’ declared one of Europe’s foremost theologians, Karl Barth, in August 1948 at the first assembly of the World Council of Churches in Amsterdam. Barth’s criticism notwithstanding, ‘post-Christian’ was a term that rose to prominence in mid-twentieth-century diagnoses of modernity. From the 1930s onwards, growing numbers of Protestant and Catholic thinkers perceived Europe, or more broadly the Western world, as entering a ‘post-Christian’ phase. The post-prefix was deeply ambiguous, however. For some, it conveyed that Europe had broken with its Christian past – a break that could alternatively be interpreted as liberation or estrangement. Others, by contrast, used the post-prefix to argue that various emerging forms of ‘secularism’ were historically indebted to Europe’s Christian past. Thus, Arnold J. Toynbee told an Oxford audience in 1940 that liberalism, communism and fascism were all leaves ‘taken from the book of Christianity’. Surveying the career of ‘post-Christian’ in mid-twentieth-century Germany, France, England and the Netherlands (with a brief excursion to the United States), this chapter argues that the term was able to achieve prominence because the ‘post’ allowed for different kinds of self-positioning vis-à-vis ‘Christianity’ and ‘modern culture’. Interestingly, however, in almost all cases, these positioning strategies drew on historicist resources in portraying the modern ‘age’ or ‘era’ as a new epoch in the development of Western culture.
law was promoted by Saïd Benabdallah, a leading ideologue and jurist,
in his book La Justice du FLN pendant la guerre de libération. The
nature of Algerian justice, he argued, could only be understood in relation to ‘the religious function of the revolutionary myth’ and a War of
Independence that had been fought by the moudjahid (warrior of the
faith) as a jihad (holy war) which was essentially, ‘a dynamic manifestation of auto-defence for the preservation and recovery of a patrimony
of the highest value . . . It so happens that it was precisely in Algeria
over 124,000 Frenchman were brought to trial and more than 75 per cent of
them were convicted of war crimes, mostly for collaboration with the occupying power or attacks against the Resistance. Marshal Philippe Pétain, head of
the Vichy regime, was convicted of collaboration, although his death sentence was commuted to life imprisonment. Pierre Laval, twice Prime Minister
under Pétain, was convicted and shot. Members of the prefectoral corps to
which Papon belonged were purged with particular thoroughness. Of the
approximately one hundred who
The origins of the Algerian women’s movement, 1945–54
students, teachers, secretaries and
health workers, who were drawn into the nationalist struggle and
provided the backbone of the new women’s organisations.
During the decade activism was inspired by the close collaboration
between European women, many of them left-wing, communist or
Christian militants from metropolitan France, and Algerian women.
The former, who had made significant political and social gains after the
Liberation, including the vote, now campaigned to extend these rights to
Algerian women. Thirdly, the colonial General Government1 responded
Feminism, anti-colonialism and a forgotten fight for freedom
possibilities facing other black women of her time, but her particular
focus on issues of gender and women’s liberation, alongside those
of racial equality and cultural nationalism, meant that she was
challenging structures of inequality that were commonly regarded as less
urgent and less central in the intellectual and political agendas of her
This chapter will offer a reading of Marson