Proud colons, proud Frenchmen: settler colonialism and the extreme right in interwar Algeria

Dónal Hassett*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle (Academic Journal)peer-review

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If any element of colonial Algerian society can be seen to embody a commitment to the logic of elimination at the heart of settler colonialism, it is the extreme right. With its unabashed defence of European supremacy and its enthusiastic celebration of the conquest, the interwar extreme right was steeped in the tropes of settler colonial politics. Nevertheless, its embrace of the discourses and practices typical of political movements in settler colonial polities was hampered by the demographic and political realities of colonialism in French Algeria. In this article, I examine the complex blend of strategies pursued by Algeria’s extreme right to expand their support among the settler population while also seeking to establish a limited foothold among the indigenes. I contend that the leadership of these organisations sought to reconcile these seemingly contradictory goals by combining the evocation of cruder forms of settler hegemony with a more politically palatable defence of exclusion rooted in the rhetoric of French republican imperialism. I ask if this concession to the political norms of the metropole places the specific settler colonial context of Algeria and the politics practiced there outside of the analytical categories proposed by settler colonial theory.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)195-212
Number of pages18
JournalSettler Colonial Studies
Issue number2
Early online date5 Jan 2017
Publication statusPublished - 3 Apr 2018


  • Algeria
  • extreme right
  • French colonialism
  • imperialism
  • North Africa


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