Date of Award


Document Type

Dissertation - Restricted

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)



First Advisor

David E. Gardinier

Second Advisor

Thomas E. Hachey

Third Advisor

F. Paul Prucha

Fourth Advisor

John Bush

Fifth Advisor

John P. Donnelly


Relations between France and Algeria since the latter's independence in July 1962 have had for both countries a special importance which derives in large part from their colonial relationship during the previous 132 years. Algeria, which was France's most important overseas possession during the colonial era, has continued to be the Third World state with which it is most concerned and involved. At the same time, independent Algeria's relations with its former colonial ruler have had an importance greater than those with any other states, even with Arab, Muslim, and Third World states.

This dissertation examines the evolving post-colonial relationship between France and Algeria in the light of their common colonial experience. It studies the continuities and the changes that have come about during the presidencies of Charles de Gaulle, Georges Pompidou, and Valery Giscard d'Estaing, on the one hand, and under the leadership of Ahmed Ben Bella and Houari Boumedienne, on the other. To this end it begins by reviewing the character of the French presence and its transformation during the age of decolonization. On the French side, the dissertation looks at the development of the policy of cooperation within the framework of French foreign policy and then at the application of this policy in various sectors. On the Algerian side, it deals with the response to the French policy and its application. Finally, it treats the sectors of French-Algerian cooperation that have played the largest parts and have had the greatest significance in their global relations, hydrocarbons and human beings--in particular, the hundreds of thousands of former European settlers and the equal numbers of Algerians in France as refugees or as workers. The conclusion summarizes the developments that have given French-Algerian relations since 1962 such importance to both countries to the point of their having what one might call a special or particular relationship.

A dissertation which deals, as this one does, with recent or contemporary history, rests on sources somewhat different from those that may be employed by researchers working at the start of the twenty-first century. Archival materials, closed at present because of the thirty-year rule, may eventually throw additional light on certain aspects of French-Algerian relations. On the other hand, a contemporary. historian is able to interview many of the key participants and informed spectators of the events before they have disappeared or before their memories have been further affected by the passage of time. Oral data, when combined with the extensive printed sources and several useful studies already available, make possible a fruitful study of the subject containing understandings and insights that will be denied to later researchers. A photographic appendix supplements this study. Hopefully, this dissertation will both provide a useful historical perspective to recent French-Algerian relations and at the same time contribute to the understanding of the process of decolonization, in particular in the era after political independence has been achieved.



Restricted Access Item

Having trouble?