The Battlefield: Algeria 1988-2002: Studies in a Broken Polity (Paperback)

The Battlefield: Algeria 1988-2002: Studies in a Broken Polity By Hugh Roberts Cover Image


A radical corrective to Western misconceptions that reduce Algeria’s tragedy to a clash of stereotypes

The violence that has ravaged Algeria in recent years has often defied explanation. Regularly invoked in debates about political Islam, transitions to democracy, globalization, and humanitarian intervention, Algeria’s tragedy has been reduced to a clash of stereotypes: Islamists vs secularists, terrorists vs innocent civilians, or generals vs a defenceless 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 book 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 forces as they emerged: the Islamists; the Berberists; the factions within the army; the regime in general; and external actors.

About the Author

Hugh Roberts is Edward Keller Professor of North African and Middle Eastern History at Tufts University, and has taught at the University of California, Berkeley and the school of Oriental and African Studies at the University of London.

Praise For…

“Provocative, profoundly committed and impeccably documented. [The Battlefield] enlightens the obscurity of Algerian politics and questions the conventional wisdom of intellectuals. It is not only a collection of articles but a book all of its own, worth serious reflection for years to come.”
—Jean Leca, Professor at the Institut d'Etudes Politiques

“No other European scholar has followed the twists and turns of Algerian politics with such tenacity, sympathy and understanding.”
—Roger Owen, A. J. Meyer Professor of Middle East History at Harvard

“I found The Battlefield deeply knowledgeable, clearly written and always thought provoking. Of many writers on Algerian contemporary affairs I particularly value Hugh Roberts’ unremitting effort to site Algerian problems in an Algerian context, thus avoiding the stereotypes and incorrect analogies that so clutter much writing on this subject ... an excellent and deeply rewarding book for anyone who wants to try to penetrate the often obscure politics of this troubled and important country.”
—Ronald E. Neumann, US Ambassador to Bahrain, Ambassador to Algeria 1994–1997

Product Details
ISBN: 9781786632517
ISBN-10: 1786632519
Publisher: Verso
Publication Date: April 25th, 2017
Pages: 430
Language: English