Workshop on North Africa

12 June 2009
9.30am -1.00 pm

As far as Europe is concerned, North Africa is now one of the major centres of potential violence and illegal migration. In the former respect, it has replaced the Middle East which, in the 1970s, was the focus of Western concerns over spill-over effects from the violence associated with the Arab-Israeli dispute and, in the 1980s, with those linked to the Islamic revolution in Iran. North Africa came into prominence in the 1990s, largely because of the civil war in Algeria, and then, in this decade, as a result of the sequela to the growth in trans-national terrorism.

Although much attention has been paid to the development of violent networks inside Europe, allegedly based on migrant communities from North Africa – although, in Britain, the concern has been directed towards communities origination from Pakistani – relatively little academic attention has been paid to the nature of radicalism and extremism inside North Africa itself. Yet all North African states exhibit both phenomena, with radicalised social movements and extremist networks co-existing and being sometimes inter-linked. Yet radicalism in North Africa often co-exists and engages with the region’s formal power-structures, despite official discrimination and extremism tends towards the vision of the near, rather than the far enemy, to use terminology popularised by Fawaz Gerges.

This workshop, which will take place between 9.30 am and 1 pm on Friday, June 12, 2009, will examine, from a North African point-of-view, the nature of the complex phenomena of radicalism and extremism in North Africa. Four papers, each directed towards a specific country, will be presented and will be directed particularly towards the causes and drivers of radicalisation in each case. There will also be a discussion of the conclusions reached in each of them. Some of the papers will be presented in French. The meeting is open but, because of limited space, we would be grateful if you would advise us if you intend to participate.


  • 09.30-10.15: Morocco
  • 10.15-11.00: Algeria
  • 11.00-11.30: Coffee
  • 11.30-12.15: Tunisia
  • 12.15-13.00: Libya
  • 13.00: Lunch