Shock of Decolonisation from 1962 to the present Publication date : November 4, 2015
Pr. Pierre Vermeren is a professor of contemporary history, at the University of Paris-1-Panthéon Sorbonne, and a specialist in African studies and decolonisation.
The events that shook the Maghreb, in particular, during the Arab Springs are a direct consequence of how France handled the decolonisation of its former empire.
The author argues that from Algerian Independence, in 1962, to the Arab revolutions of 2011-2012, France, combining good intentions with guilt, allowed its successors at the head of the new nations (Morocco, Algeria, Tunisia, and other African nations) to act with total impunity. The silence and blindness of the French, but also of the rest of the European nations, enabled the leaders of the new nations to appropriate and waste the resources and riches of the newly decolonised territories, against a background of persecution and the submission of ordinary citizens.
Pierre Vermeren puts recent events — the explosions of anger in the Maghreb, the struggle against jihadism — in historical perspective and argues that independence has not yet been obtained.
• The combined history of the colonisers and the decolonised peoples, of the wars of independence and the current struggles against jihadism.
• A strong, well-argued, well-documented thesis: the current situation in the Maghreb, ensnared in political and religious violence, is the direct result of the failures of decolonisation.
• A ground-breaking historical approach to recent events, from the Arab Spring to the latest persecutions, most notably in Algeria.