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Visiting speaker: Dr. Emmanuel BLANCHARD (University of Versailles, France)

Sponsored by the Middle East Humanities Cluster

Repression of Terrorism and Internment Camps in France during the Algerian War of Independence (1954-1962)

Event details

The recent attacks by ISIS commandos in Paris have impelled the government to a new activation of the state of emergency law, which was first adopted in March 1955.  Some comments insisted on this colonial origin and tried to underline legacies and continuities between the current situation and the years of the Algerian War.  Some political leaders have called for the enactment of a legislative frame and budgets to organise internment camps for suspects of terrorism or sympathy for ISIS. These camps were one of the main tools used by French police and justice to fight Algerian activists between 1955 and 1962.

In this talk, Dr. Blanchard will propose a brief history of the "war on terror" in France during the years of the Algerian War of Independence.  The measures adopted did not permit to defeat the FLN but they turned all Algerians into suspects harassed by police on the ground.  State of emergency law and other exceptional powers were contested by defenders of civil liberties and paved the way for state violence and practices such as torture used by intelligence services.

Emmanuel Blanchard, Senior lecturer, University of Versailles (UVSQ) and Sciences Po Saint-Germain-en-Laye.  Researcher at the Center for Sociological Research on Law and Criminal Justice Institutions (CESDIP).  His main areas of studies are colonial policing in the French empire, history of immigration and history of the Algerian war of independence.



Institute of Arabic and Islamic Studies