Algerians without Borders:
The Making of a Global Frontier Society

Allan Christelow

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"Maps a fascinating and far-flung global frontier that Algerians have crossed over for centuries. This is not only a history of the modern and contemporary Algerian diaspora but also an instructive study of political, social, cultural, and economic encounters and negotiations that occur at the interstices of civilizations. Christelow contributes an impressive and erudite narrative that widens and enriches the corpus of modern Algerian historiography."--Phillip C. Naylor, author of North Africa: A History from Antiquity to the Present

This account of Algeria through its migratory history begins in the last quarter of the eighteenth century by looking at forced migration through the slave trade. It moves through the colonial era and continues into Algeria’s turbulent postcolonial experience.
In Algerians without Borders, Allan Christelow examines the factors that have drawn or pushed Algerians to cross borders, both literal and metaphoric. He provides an in-depth analysis of the results of these crossings: from problematic efforts to secure external support for political projects, to building interfaith dialogue and the exploration of new ideas, to the emergence of new communities. He also investigates the return of border crossers to Algeria and the challenges they face in adapting to new environments, whether negotiating alliances, engaging in dialogue, or simply seeking legal acceptance.
Christelow concludes with a discussion of the last few decades of Algerian history. He explores how Algerian intellectuals operated outside of the country's borders, spurred on by the rise of Islamism as well as by freer dialogues with Western powers, specifically Britain and the United States. The result is an alternate history of Algeria that demonstrates just how much its citizens' engagement with other societies has transformed the country.

Allan Christelow, professor of history at Idaho State University, is the author of Muslim Law Courts and the French Colonial State in Algeria and Thus Ruled Emir Abbas.

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"Succeeds in broadening and deepening our understanding of the political and cross-cultural impact of Algerian migration, both home and abroad. This thought-provoking and refreshing addition to the literature takes us within and beyond the Franco-Algerian dynamic, placing Algeria within a truly global perspective over several centuries." Journal of African History

"Fascinating figures abound: warrior=statesman (‘Abd al-Qadir), intellectuals (Malik Bennabi), captivates, refugees, even a Freemason exiled in Philadelphia in 1794…their histories deserve greater attention, and here they receive their due." CHOICE

"The book nether treats Algeria as a French colony nor an Arab territory but, instead, locates it as part of a global network, developing a nuanced analysis of an otherwise-neglected subject in the study of international migration." International Migration Review

“Invites us on a journey, one in which we accompany Algerians as they traveled far and near, willingly or not, and by so doing created a frontier society at home as well as diaspora communities scattered across much of the globe… this is a very solidly researched piece of scholarship.” International Journal of Middle East Studies

“A work of original scholarship imbued with a deep appreciation of and sensitivity to the complexity of Algerian history, now projected onto the world stage.” American Historical Review

“Makes a significant contribution in reconsidering the broader geographic and intellectual spaces that have shaped the country’s trajectory.” Journal of North African Studies

“Leaves the reader with a new appreciation, both for the rich global contribution of Algerian émigrés and for the mix of dangers and hopeful possibilities built into this fragile time of upheavals in the wider Arab world.” Contemporary Islam

“The book emerges as a study in international relations, colonial and postcolonial histories, immigration, and in areas studies, especially, is a valuable contribution.” Islamic Studies

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