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Sport in Algeria – from National Self-assertion to Anti-state Contestation

Sport in Algeria – from National Self-assertion to Anti-state Contestation

Chapter:
(p.203) Sport in Algeria – from National Self-assertion to Anti-state Contestation
Source:
Algeria
Author(s):
Philip Dine
Publisher:
Liverpool University Press
DOI:10.5949/liverpool/9781786940216.003.0011

In Algeria, sport historically played a role in both colonial consolidation (from the 1840s) and nationalist mobilization (from the 1920s). The FLN’s manipulation of sport during the war of liberation would be followed by its use post-independence as a means of state legitimation and national self-assertion. Since 1988, football has additionally been a focus for (continuing) Kabyle self-assertion and (more recent) youth-focused contestation. Such developments have both important diasporic elements and some striking cultural reflections. The international mobility of Algerian professional players (including the phenomenon of reverse migration) is another significant aspect of the broader globalization (or rather “glocalization”) of sport in the country. While football has undoubtedly provided the primary focus for sports-based identity-construction and self-affirmation, athletics is also important in the period 1988-2013, most obviously as regards the abiding legacy of the country’s contrasting — and multiply gendered — reception of the Olympic and World Championship victories of Hassiba Boulmerka (1991-1995) and Nourredine Morceli (1991-1996).

Keywords:   Nation-building, Hassiba Boulmerka, Norredine Morceli, Globalization, Politics of Sport, Contestation

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