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Empires of IntelligenceSecurity Services and Colonial Disorder after 1914$
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Martin Thomas

Print publication date: 2007

Print ISBN-13: 9780520251175

Published to California Scholarship Online: March 2012

DOI: 10.1525/california/9780520251175.001.0001

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Intelligence and Urban Opposition in French Territories

Intelligence and Urban Opposition in French Territories

(p.201) 7 Intelligence and Urban Opposition in French Territories
Empires of Intelligence

Thomas Martin

University of California Press

This chapter moves from a desert setting to an urban one, exploring the distinct political environment of Arab towns and cities under France. In the urban centers of North Africa and the Middle East, elite opposition coalesced with popular nationalism to present colonial states with greater security problems in the 1930s. Security agencies meanwhile acquired increasing importance in the ordering of colonial urban space over the course of the interwar period. They were better armed and self-consciously modern in style and substance as their policing priorities and bureaucratic procedures sought to impose the Europeanization of law and order. However, urban policing was, as ever, reliant on the cooperation of indigenous intermediaries. The colonial governments of France expected the Service de Renseignements (SR), the Sûreté Générale, their elite clients, and their informer networks to close the gap between nominal state authority and the actual fragility of the colonial order.

Keywords:   Arab, towns, France, security agencies, Europeanization, law and order, urban policing, Service de Renseignements, Sûreté Générale

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