"La noblesse d'État" tested by "Algeria" and the post-1962 period

A contribution to the history of an "Algerian cohort"  without community of fate
By Sylvain Laurens

The senior civil servants from France's Grandes Écoles and higher administrative bodies who served in Algeria during the conflict differed from the French administrative agents who were directly linked to the colonial administration. Not only were they far less numerous but they also do not seem to have belonged in a "community of fate" after 1962. The administrative reconfiguration upon their return in France does not fit easily into clear-cut patterns. Its analysis requires paying attention to the administrative bodies they were attached to as well as their hierarchical position, the diversity of the civil servants' incorporated provisions as well as the configuration they came back to. On the basis of empirical research on France's immigration policies, the article demonstrates nonetheless how some agents were able to use their passage to Algeria as a transferable resource in other administrative areas. But such a transfer was dependent on a continuous work to create a space for their skills to be recognized, directed at politicians as well as "against" the administrative agents already in charge of the administration of foreigners.

Go to the article on Cairn-int.info