Algeria Modern. From Opacity to Complexity, London, Hurst Publishers/CERI Sciences Po, April 2016


Interview with the authors, Luis Martinez and Rasmus Alenius Boserup.

The book title "opacity to complexity" is in regard to the Algerian state. What are the main features of this opacity?

One of the main features of this opacity is the fundamental role of the security services. Since independence, the state in Algeria has remained under the influence and control of the military, and its organs have composed a large part of the state apparatus and political institutions since the end of the Boumediene presidency (1965-1979). In this time, they have considered themselves as the supporting wall of the Algerian building. Moreover, parallel to the accessible and observable institutional/formal political scene, another developed and consolidated...


The Enigma of Islamist Violence, by Luis Martinez, Amélie Blom and Laetitia Bucaille (eds)
The debate surrounding Islamist violence remains locked in oppositional sterility. Are such attacks perpetrated by Islamists as a matter of belief or do they reflect socio-economic realities? Is the suicide bomber a pathological case, as the psychologist maintains, or a clever strategist, as those steeped in the geopolitical approach claim? This book aims to transcend both the culturalist or underdevelopment explanations by focusing on the highly variegated nature of the phenomenon.
Democracies at War Against Terrorism. A Comparative Perspective, by Samy Cohen (ed.)
On numerous occasions, democratic nations have been singled out by human rights NGOs for the brutality of their modus operandi, for their inadequate attention to the protection of civilian populations, or for acts of abuse or torture on prisoners. Why do they perpetrate these violations? Do they do so intentionally or unintentionally? Can democracies combat irregular armed groups without violating international law? When their population is under threat, do they behave as non-democracies would? Does this type of war inevitably produce war crimes on a more or less massive scale?
The Gamble of War Is it Possible to Justify Preventive War?, by Ariel Colonomos
With the new millennium, prevention has become a popular doctrine in international politics. One of its most noticeable features is that democracies become inclined to strike first. In the US, it has served as the banner of the neo–conservative movement but it also gathered support from some liberals. It has also inspired several Israeli interventions. Does the preventive use of force meet the normative criteria that prevail or should prevail in a democratic system? Or does it endanger the legal and ethical traditions that characterize the history of Western military ethics?
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