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By James McDougall

The essays during this quantity discover the complexities of the connection among states, social teams and participants in modern North Africa, as expressed in the course of the politics, tradition and heritage of nationhood.From Morocco to Libya, from bankers to refugees, from colonialism to globalisation, quite a number person experiences examines how North Africans have imagined and made their global within the 20th century.

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Extra resources for Nation, Society and Culture in North Africa (Cass Series--History and Society in the Islamic World)

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Postcolonial Separations: Lines in the Sand The statist, centralising control which marked the final years of the reign of Muhammad V in Morocco was contemporaneous with the experience of autogestion (agricultural workers’ self-management) in Ben Bella’s Algeria. When Morocco began to develop its agricultural sector, privileging the economy of the plains region which was turned towards exports to Europe, Algeria under 22 REPRESENTATIONS OF THE NATION THAT UNITE AND DIVIDE Houari Boumediènne engaged itself in an almost neo-Stalinist programme of industries industrialisantes and the collectivisation of land.

These films define themselves as national because they are nationalist. Their content and tone is determined by what ‘the nation’ says, tells itself, and teaches about itself. The struggle against colonialism is idealised, presented as a uniformly heroic enterprise in such a way as to serve directly, through cinema, the project of constructing a nationalist epic in line with a state-sponsored cultural production dominated by unanimism. The creation of the production company SATPEC (Société Anonyme Tunisienne de Production et d’Exploitation Cinématographique) in 1959, and then the building of a film laboratory at Gammarth, completed in 1967, were essentially political decisions, 36 NATION, SOCIETY AND CULTURE IN NORTH AFRICA intended to give the new national cinema an infrastructure which would allow it to develop.

In both countries, the Islamists have engaged themselves in the existing political games. Islamism, too, must develop or risk marginalisation. The condition of society in the Maghrib has changed since the emergence of Islamist movements in the late 1970s and early 1980s. The major questions with which they are faced are those of individualisation and emigration/exile, not those of communitarian retrenchment. The appeal of religious and ‘identity’ discourses, while it remains substantial, does not necessarily offer a political solution to the Maghrib’s problems which can be espoused by the whole of society.

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