Abstract

This essay examines the proliferation of practices of conspiracy theorizing among Algerian citizens and expatriates in light of the current civil war that since 1992 has resulted in 100,000 deaths and an ongoing state of emergency disrupting nascent democratic legal and political processes. Seeking to provide transparent accounts of opaque military actions, Algerian conspiracy theorizing adopts a totalizing rhetoric that eschews uncertainty and fetishizes causality and actor intentionality. The article argues that such rhetoric outlines a shared political culture for Algerians across ethnic, linguistic, and ideological divides. While constituting a vernacular sphere of transnational knowledge production and circulation (a Foucauldian "regime of truth"), this political culture of conspiracy simultaneously provides a discursive prop for military and governmental structures of power whose coherence is otherwise placed in jeopardy by the civil war violence. What is at issue in the end is the role of social practices like conspiracy theorizing in dialectical structures of hegemonic processes.

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Additional Information

ISSN
1534-1518
Print ISSN
0003-5491
Pages
pp. 643-674
Launched on MUSE
2002-11-25
Open Access
No
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