France and Algeria: A History of Decolonization and Transformation

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University Press of Florida, 2000 - History - 457 pages

"A major contribution to understanding the tragic drama of Algerian history, casting light on the dilemmas facing the Two-Thirds World in the 21st century."--Don Holsinger, Seattle Pacific University

Phillip Naylor describes the extraordinary bilateral relationship between France and Algeria, countries which--after 132 years of colonialism and a brutal war of independence--have attempted to fashion a new relationship based on "mutual respect."
Beginning with a review of the colonial period up to 1958, Naylor examines the various dramas that have distinguished bilateral relations since independence: the Evian Accords of March 1962, the substitution of cooperation for colonialism, the nationalization of the hydrocarbons sector in 1971, and the Fitna, Algeria's violent "trial" of itself as a nation during the '90s.
Recognizing many contradictions and complexities in the period of "postcolonial decolonization," Naylor melds philosophy, economics, sociology, political science, and literary criticism into his historical narrative. Readers will find an impressive range of subject matter and methodologies brought to bear on the evolving relations of power, perception, and identity between the two states.

In the voluminous literature covering France's relationship with Algeria, the bilateral postcolonial history has been marginalized, if not neglected. Naylor offers a widely and deeply researched account of this period, and of the exceptional relationship between France and Algeria as the former continues to ascribe strategic importance to Algeria while the latter struggles to transform and escape the residual influence of its colonial past.

Phillip C. Naylor, associate professor of history at Marquette University, is coeditor of "State and Society in Algeria" (1992).

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