FARMERS, FELLAGA, AND FRENCHMEN: NATIONAL LIBERATION AND POST-COLONIAL DEVELOPMENT IN TUNISIA
During the mid-1950s, an almost unknown and erased-from-history armed anti-colonial revolt – the Fellaga/Youssefite rebellion – rippled across the Tunisian countryside, sweeping across the width and depth of the country, even penetrating urban cores. My dissertation, Farmers, Fellaga, and Frenchmen: National Liberation and Post-Colonial Development in Tunisia, recovers the historical memory of that revolt, writing the armed struggle and its repression into the history of the Tunisian national liberation struggle and its effects on subsequent state-building efforts. In so doing I locate the place of the rural smallholder and newly landless, who although central to national liberation would be marginal to post-colonial development. This story cuts against the grain of dominant post-colonial historiography, which depicts a unitary and largely non-violent Western-oriented national struggle as the agent of independence. Such a narrative is the cement which the party has used to justify both its rule, post-colonial developmentalism, and subsequent social inclusions and exclusions. My dissertation shows how moments of collective violence, fueled by regional pan-Arab solidarities and materiel, propelled the political party which led the liberation movement, the Neo-Destour, to victory and secured the country’s sovereignty from France. Simultaneously, the repression of that struggle led to the exclusion of the marginalized countryside from subsequent state-formation and economic development plans. I trace how the memory of that revolt animated an array of post-colonial plans, from both the General Union of Tunisian Workers, the governing party, and independent and party-linked French and Tunisian intellectuals and planners. I then show how subsequent plans contained social unrest and wove Tunisia into global commodity flows in lieu of centralizing smallholders in development planning. I then trace how the subsequent course of modernization, industrialization, and exclusion produced tensions strong enough to shatter the developmentalist compact by the end of the 1960s.
decolonization; historical sociology; Tunisia; State Formation; Sociology; Economic history; African history
McMichael, Philip David
Makki, Fouad M.; Wolford, Wendy W.
Ph.D., Development Sociology
Doctor of Philosophy
dissertation or thesis