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Algeria in France: Transpolitics, Race, and Nation (New Anthropologies of Europe) Hardcover – October 1, 2004

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Editorial Reviews


"... a remarkable work about the dislocating effects of modernity... sure to be influential in the fields of postcolonial theory, French politics, and migration studies." ―David A. McMurray

"" ―

"[A] richly nuanced and informative [analysis] of France at the beginning of the twenty-first century." ―Tyler Stovall, University of California, Berkeley, H-France

".. admirably broad study...." ―Times Literary Supplement

"... this is an important call that diaspora should become as important a theme in North African history as it has been in that of sub-Saharan Africa." ―H-Africa

"An insightful chronicle...." ―John Bowen

"This is work of impressive erudition which is richly documented, theoretically sophisticated, and epistemologically provocative in that it situates itself firmly on a transnational axis linking France and Algeria across the Mediterranean." ―Susan Terrio

"[Silverstein] has elaborated an incisive inquiry into the complex configurations of state power and minority agency that marks a central contribution to the academic study of transnationalism and globalization." ―Ruth Mas, University of Colorado at Boulder, Journal Middle East Women's Stds JMEWS, Vol. 6, No. 2 Spring 2010

"This informative and sophisticated work... examines Algerian immigration to France... [Silverstein] deftly summarizes the history of Franco-Algerian relations." ―Foreign Affairs, March/April 2005

"[Silverstein] approaches his subjects through the medium of everyday life, following the random individuals encountered during his field work in the 1990s, applying an ethnographical methodology with a highly critical and self-reflexive awareness of the environment he shared with them.... [This] is a critical work in opening up a broader consideration of the complex set of identifications running between France, Algeria, and the wider Arab and Muslim world." ―H-Levant, April, 2011

About the Author

Paul A. Silverstein is Professor of Anthropology at Reed College.


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Product Details

  • Series: New Anthropologies of Europe
  • Hardcover: 304 pages
  • Publisher: Indiana University Press (October 1, 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0253344514
  • ISBN-13: 978-0253344519
  • Product Dimensions: 6.1 x 1.1 x 9.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #6,049,116 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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13 of 13 people found the following review helpful By lademoiselle on September 7, 2006
Format: Paperback
As a researcher doing work in the same area, I can say that there is no other book that tackles this subject, which manages to take seriously ethnicity AND political engagement. A necessary book if you want to know what's really going on with Algerian immigrants and their children in France.

Theoretically, Silverstein manages to take a critical perspective without delving too deep into postmodernism, and his empirical research supports his conclusions. A wonderful and convincing anecdote to Huntington and Lewis-like Clash of Civilizations arguments, Algeria in France draws on historical, anthropological, sociological, and literary references to make its case.
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Format: Paperback
Algeria in France plumbs the postcolonial predicament that unites Algeria and France into a single political space. The `transpolitics' of the title refers, first, to how struggles over Algeria's future spread to France, Algeria's colonial ruler from 1830 until the Algerian war of 1954-1962. Indeed, one could argue that France has become a primary site for conducting Algerian politics. Starting in 1992, the escalating violence of the Algerian civil war pitting Islamist groups against the state dovetailed with emerging demands of Berber speakers, primarily residing in the eastern province of Kabylia for increased cultural and linguistic rights. Through electioneering and public demonstrations, as well as more violent means, Berberist and Islamist groups put pressure on France to force one resolution of another to the civil war in Algeria. Moreover, they sought electoral support, financial aid, and recruits among France's large Algerian immigrant population, attempting to reproselytize Algerians born and raised in France (or Franco-Algerians) into essentialist forms of Berber and Islamic identities. Alternatively, many Algerians in France have constructed hybrid political subjectivities and allegiances, often holding dual citizenship and participating politically to one degree or another in both France and Algeria. Transpolitics therefore points to how processes of and debates over postcolonial immigration, state-building and identity cross national borders and chart new spaces of conflict and cosmopolitanism.

Second, `transpolitics' also implies that questions of migration and identity not only cross geographic boundaries, but also transcend formal political categories and institutions.
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By Michael on September 22, 2012
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I checked this out as part of the initial secondary research for a dissertation in history and ended up buying it. There is a great deal of material here but it is not presented in a particularly convoluted manner by any means. The comparison between the political activity and attitudes of first generation immigrants and their children is a particularly interesting contribution.
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2 of 18 people found the following review helpful By Kathryn Protzko on September 25, 2008
Format: Paperback
this haneous text actually got published wow. So, you might be fathoming, "well then, I suppose it can't be that bad right?." Wrong. Please take my advice, if you are under 40 and have an averge IQ such as I, I warn you dear reader, do not wastetime on your life reading (moreiek trying to read/comprehend) this book. Go out and Live, this is a inflamed text of bore that will likely make you want to staple your head to a carpet. Guarenteed to induce pendemonium, bedlam and a strong urge to use it as firewood even in the summertime
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