Reprisal violence and the Harkis in French Algeria, 1962

Evans, Martin (2016) Reprisal violence and the Harkis in French Algeria, 1962. International History Review, 39 (1). pp. 89-106. ISSN 0707-5332

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Rejecting notions of inherent violence, this article focuses upon the large numbers of Algerians from the French organised anti-FLN Militias who were subjected to reprisals after the French exit from Algeria in 1962. Estimates of those killed range from 10,000 to 150,000, and the violence is justifiably described as brutal. The specificity of this violence has only emerged as a field of enquiry since the 1980s. Initially this stemmed from the impact of eyewitness accounts, combined with the emergence of organised pressure groups in France. Collectively these new voices spoke out against simplistic interpretations that reduced these Militias to pro-French villains in a heroic decolonisation narrative - a perspective reinforced by the recent historical research of Pierre Daum, François-Xavier Hautreux, Mohand Hamoumou and Michel Roux. This article draws upon this historiography, but it also moves beyond it to situate Algeria within a global history of violence and to challenge interpretations that explain this violence solely in terms of a Franco-Algerian dynamic. Instead, the 1962 massacres must be understood in terms of broader global processes of violence that connect these generic contexts to the specificity of the Algerian case.

Item Type: Article
Schools and Departments: School of History, Art History and Philosophy > History
Subjects: D History General and Old World > DT History of Africa > DT0160 North Africa
J Political Science
J Political Science > JV Colonies and colonisation. Emigration and immigration. International migration > JV0001 Colonies and colonisation
Depositing User: Fiona Allan
Date Deposited: 03 Jun 2016 14:27
Last Modified: 10 Dec 2017 02:00

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