Imaginative Geographies of Algerian Violence: Conflict Science, Conflict Management, Antipolitics
The massacres that spread across Algeria in 1997 and 1998 shocked the world, both in their horror and in the international community's failure to respond. In the years following, the violence of 1990s Algeria has become a central case study in new theories of civil conflict and terrorism after the Cold War. Such "lessons of Algeria" now contribute to a diverse array of international efforts to manage conflict-from development and counterterrorism to the Responsibility to Protect doctrine and transitional justice. With this book, Jacob Mundy raises a critical lens to these lessons and practices and sheds light on an increasingly antipolitical scientific vision of armed conflict. Traditional questions of power and history that once guided conflict management have been displaced by neoliberal assumptions and methodological formalism. In questioning the presumed lessons of 1990s Algeria, Mundy shows that the problem is not simply that these understandings-these imaginative geographies-of Algerian violence can be disputed. He shows that today's leading strategies of conflict management are underwritten by, and so attempt to reproduce, their own flawed logic. Ultimately, what these policies and practices lead to is not a world made safe from war, but rather a world made safe for war.