Critique internationale 47, avril-juin 2010

Voyages des racines
First Edition

Un dossier sur le tourisme des racines : de l'expérience des exilés, des réfugiés et des migrants qui, après avoir quitté leur pays reviennent sur la terre de leurs ancêtres dans le cadre de voyages identitaires. Read More

Bayo Holsey
Ritual and Memory in Ghana: The Political Uses of the Diaspora

The Ghanian industry of Diaspora tourism seeks to attract African-American visitors by showing them old slave trade sites. It in this framework that the forts of Cape Coast and Elmina were restored in the 1990s and that an annual commemoration, Emancipation Day, was created in 1998. In 2007, the Ministry of Tourism added the "healing ceremony" to the list of festivities. This is part of a larger initiative, the Joseph Cultural Project, which seeks to attract long-term investment from members of the African Diaspora. This ceremony puts the biblical episode of Joseph's enslavement by his family to use in order to elaborate a discourse concerning the Ghanian roots of the African Diaspora. The Joseph Project suggests that the Diaspora can cure Ghanians of their troubles, whether they be of an economic nature or stem from their relationship to the past. In so doing, it tends to confine Ghana to the role of a quaint homeland and African-Americans to that of rich visitors. Using ritual to reinforce this distribution of roles, the Joseph Project draws on multicultural neoliberalism in the aim of developing a conservative politics of the diasporic relationship.

Nadège Ragaru
Travels in Identities: The Space-Time of Belonging among Bulgarian Turks Living in Turkey

Since the creation of the Bulgarian state in 1878, departure for the heart of the Ottoman Empire and, later, Turkey has for the Turcophone populations of Bulgaria represented a horizon of the thinkable and sometimes the possible. The result of these successive migrations has been a multitude of different ways of being a Bulgarian-origin Turk in Turkey. These various modes of belonging are here examined as they are constituted through a practice of sites that is also a practice of filiation and time. By examining the roots travel of Bulgarian Turks living in the Turkish megalopolis of Bursa and Istanbul, this article encourages a reconsideration of the sometimes too marked opposition between notions of “departure” and “return”. These do not reflect the variety of meanings attributed to voyages – whether dreamt or accomplished, matters of routine or exceptional events – by those who take part in them. The article next suggests the extent to which ways of reinvesting (or not) ancestral land correlates with social trajectories that mediate the question of filiation through that of affirmations of affiliation with the country of residence. Finally, it shows how origin voyages, which are often considered as windows on the spatiality of identifications, constitute temporal objects, not solely by virtue of their inscription in the length of the voyage and that of the stay but also by the invitation they represent to revisit pasts that have been selectively reread. In so doing, they constitute vectors for reordering the individual, familial and collective temporalities by means of which changing accounts of belonging are elaborated.

André Levy
Pilgrim-Travelers in the Diasporic Homeland: The Return of Jews to Morocco

By examining the impossibility of reviving “cultural intimacy” with the former spaces of the Diaspora, the analysis of the roots voyages of Israelis born in Morocco reveals the multiple tensions that cut across this form of mobility. The gaps separating Israeli visitors from Jews still living in Morocco, on the one hand, and Muslim Moroccans, on the other, are so many indications of the inaccessibility of the past. In more general terms, these gaps indicate a rupture between the “homeland” and the “Diaspora”. The categories “Moroccan Israelis”, “Moroccan Jews”, “Moroccan Muslims” and the relations between them are more complex than is suggested by merely contrasting them. The frontiers of cultural intimacy are not fixed; nor are they defined by the official agents (in general, bureaucrats) who claim to represent the nation state. The hope of reviving cultural intimacy with Morocco nevertheless sheds light on the distance that has grown up between travelers and this space. It follows that efforts to give form to nostalgia are doomed to failure. In the most profound sense, “roots travel” is impossible.

Éric Savarese
“Bitter Homeland”: A Note on the Return of the Pieds-Noirs to Algeria

By simultaneously examining “literatures of exile” and material collected in interviews, it can be shown that the return to Algeria does not concern all pieds-noirs in the same way. Indeed, their sociological profiles – like their positions in the space of receptions of colonial history – are very diverse. The act of returning can be considered a form of “roots tourism” only when the work of mourning has been carried out independently of heroic accounts in which Algeria is identified as a French creation. Conversely, the skepticism of some pieds-noirs underscores the insurmountable incongruity (in the framework of an affective economy) between an Algeria that has been reconstructed a posteriori and the reality of a transformed country. With their remoteness from family tombs remaining one cause of the suffering of the pieds-noirs, the voyage can also be motivated by the project of collectively caring for the land of the dead. Thus the diversity of the meaning and uses of return, a phenomenon that spans the fugitive experience of re-socialization within a lost Algeria, the transmission of genealogical memory, the shared upkeep of family tombs and the shock of deracination tied to the search for the lost Algeria of an earlier generation.

Christophe Jaffrelot
The Dialectic of Terrorism in India since 2001: Foreign Meddling, Islamists and Hindu Nationalists

Since 2001, India has experienced a series of attacks and, as a result, ranks among the countries most affected by terrorism. The Indian authorities initially attributed these acts of violence to Pakistani Islamist groups with ties, in some cases, to their country’s military intelligence agency. They then admitted that Indian Muslims – whether acting alone or in contact with foreign groups – were increasingly involved in these terrorist actions. After each attack, the police thus carried out mass arrests of young Muslims, above all those who were or had been members of the Students Islamic Movement of India (SIMI). Yet only a few activists from this union had embraced the armed jihadist cause, reacting to the movement that led to the demolition of the Ayodhya mosque (1992), on the one hand, and the Gujarat pogroms (2002), on the other. In keeping with a long-standing mimetic tradition within the Hindu nationalist movement, Hindu nationalist groups have responded to this Indian-origin Muslim terrorism by organizing attacks similar to those of the Muslims.

Jean-Pierre Filiu
Defining Al-Qaeda

The phenomenon of Al-Qaeda raises serious problems of understanding and interpretation. This makes it necessary to clarify its definition and calls for the long-term trajectory of Islam to be put into historical and ideological perspective with the assistance of a comparative approach. Al-Qaeda is at once an expression of contemporary Salafism (in its jihadist form) and at odds with it (by virtue of its unprecedented advocacy of global jihad). This divergence is worth underscoring for it feeds recurrent conflicts between Al-Qaeda and other (especially nationalist) groups engaged in armed jihad. While social movement theory feeds lively debate in the United States concerning the nature and evolution of this organization, it only partly answers the questions raised by the study of Al-Qaeda. Al-Qaeda’s dependence on the internet illustrates its originality as the foremost international terrorist organization as well as the elitist and avant-gardist manner in which it operates, with little effort made to encourage a mass movement. These reflections raise questions as to the reproducible and/or durable character of the organization.

Aurélia Smotriez
The Ethnicization of the Religious Educational Field in Israel: The Example of Petah-Tikva

By redefining their ethno-religious identity, the religious education network established in Israel at the end of the 1980s by the ultraorthodox Sephardic party, Shas, has played a major role in drawing a portion of the Jews who originated in Arab-Mulsim countries (Mizrahim) together into a community. An analysis inspired by the sociology of social movements sheds light on the manner in which this process of communitarianization has taken place. The Shas Party was able to acquire the political weight necessary to ensure the rapid growth of its school network thanks to structures of political opportunity that facilitated the emergence of this collective action in both the political and educational fields. Yet it was the reorganization of the educational field that more specifically permitted the mobilization of identity to take place through schools. Born of the discrepancy between a discourse that supported ethnically mixed schools and practices running counter to it, the crisis of legitimacy in the public school system allowed the Shas Party to implement efforts to redefine the categories of Israeli identity. For a growing number of families, the result has been to make the Party’s school network an alternative space propitious to the communitarianization of the eastern ethnicity.

Paperback - In French 19.00 €


Presses de Sciences Po
Critique internationale
BISAC Subject Heading
Onix Audience Codes
06 Professional and scholarly
CLIL (Version 2013-2019)
Title First Published
02 June 2010
Subject Scheme Identifier Code
Thema subject category: Politics and government


Publication Date
02 June 2010
15.5 x 24 x 0.8 cm
256 grams
List Price
19.00 €
Version 2.1, Version 3

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THEMA Voyages des racines
Sous la direction de Antonela Capelle-Pogăcean

Imaginaires, pratiques et politiques du revenir
par Antonela Capelle-Pogăcean

Rituel et mémoire au Ghana : les usages politiques de la diaspora
par Bayo Holsey

Voyages en identités. Les espaces-temps de l'appartenance des Turcs de Bulgarie installés en Turquie
par Nadège Ragaru

Pèlerins-voyageurs en patrie diasporique : les retours des juifs au Maroc
par André Levy

« Amère patrie. » Une note sur le retour des pieds-noirs en Algérie
par Éric Savarese

La dialectique des terrorismes en Inde depuis 2001 : la « main de l’étranger », les islamistes et les nationalistes hindous
par Christophe Jaffrelot

Définir Al-Qaida
par Jean-Pierre Filiu

L’ethnicisation du champ éducatif religieux en Israël : l’exemple de Petah-Tikva
par Aurélia Smotriez

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