The Algerian presence in France is explored through history and a wide range of contemporary cultural forms-from immigration policy, colonial governance, and urban planning to corporate advertising, sports, literary narratives, and songs. Investigating the connection between anti-immigrant racism and the rise of Islamist and Berberist ideologies, Silverstein explores how the Algerian civil war has been transferred to French soil."This is work of impressive erudition which is richly documented, theoretically sophisticated, and epistemologically provocative . . . ." -Susan Terrio
This informative and sophisticated work of anthropology examines Algerian immigration to France, focusing on immigrants in Paris after the end of the Algerian war and how they were affected by the Algerian civil war of the 1990s. Silverstein calls it a study in "transpolitics"how transnational migration corrodes "nationalism's handling of people, territory, and politics." He deftly summarizes the history of Franco-Algerian relations, pointing out the French preference for the (allegedly less religious) Berbers over the Arabs, and finds that "the French nation-state has ... proved to be fundamentally ambivalent in its management of ethnoracial and linguistic differences, as it has simultaneously avowed or disavowedproduced and erasedsubnational categories of identity." He also calls the state housing system a "site for economic exclusion and racism" that has prompted Algerian immigrants to "create their own structures of civility." Judging from their cultural output, he concludes that Algerians often feel unwelcome in both France and Algeria.