‘Schools and National Identities in French-speaking Africa’ & essential readings on Algerian Hirak

  • Muriam Haleh Davis and Thomas Serres have collated a set of trilingual “essential readings” about the Algerian Hirak, including academic articles, opinion pieces and key press articles. They describe this resource as a ‘first attempt to gather secondary sources discussing the revolutionary mobilization that started in Algeria in February 2019’, and point to the relevance of understanding the movement not just for North African politics but for understanding resistance and hegemony. https://www.jadaliyya.com/Details/42148
  • Schools and National Identities in French-speaking Africa, edited by Linda Gardelle (ENSTA Bretagne, France) and our colleague at Portsmouth Camille Jacob, brings together research about ten different African countries to better understand the mechanisms of production and negotiation of national identities in different settings. At its heart is the need to critically investigate the concept of “the nation” as a political project, how discourses and feelings of belonging are constructed at school, and what it means for schools to be simultaneously places of learning, tools of socialisation and political battlegrounds. The first chapter, which provides an overview of the themes covered in the book, is freely available here: https://www.taylorfrancis.com/books/schools-national-identities-french-speaking-africa-linda-gardelle-camille-jacob/e/10.4324/9780429288944?refId=f450fab0-d7a5-483f-a617-271b6b98b254
  • The US government’s move to recognise Moroccan sovereignty over the disputed territory of Western Sahara has renewed debates over the future of the Sahrawi Arab Democratic Republic and the decade-long tensions in the region. Al Jazeera reported on the move as a reward for Morocco’s normalisation of ties with Israel and the wider implications for existing tensions with Algeria and Mauritania. John Bolton and Intissar Fakir pondered what this might mean for security in the region and for the US. In these accounts, the Sahrawi themselves are largely absent. For more on Western Sahara and the Sahrawi, see for instance Wilson’s Democratising elections without parties: reflections on the case of the SADR, and Boulay & Freire’s Culture et Politique dans l’Ouest Saharien.