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The Ethnographic StateFrance and the Invention of Moroccan Islam$
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Edmund III Burke

Print publication date: 2014

Print ISBN-13: 9780520273818

Published to California Scholarship Online: January 2015

DOI: 10.1525/california/9780520273818.001.0001

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The Political Origins of the Moroccan Colonial Archive

The Political Origins of the Moroccan Colonial Archive

(p.52) Three The Political Origins of the Moroccan Colonial Archive
The Ethnographic State

Edmund Burke

University of California Press

Chapter 3 surveys the political origins of the Moroccan colonial archive. In 1900, scholars of the Ecole d’Alger, by virtue of their linguistic competence and experience, were poised to dominate research on Morocco. But unbeknownst to them, a metropolitan-based research group, the Mission scientifique du Maroc, emerged in Tangier and soon set about publishing Archives marocaines. Headed by military intellectual Alfred Le Chatelier and enjoying the backing of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, it espoused what was then called “scientific imperialism”—that is, the application of social sciences to native government. This chapter recounts how the struggle for control over research on Morocco between the Mission scientifique du Maroc and the Ecole d’Alger drew in bureaucratic, political, and academic groups, and it charts how their in-fighting almost brought down the Third Republic.

Keywords:   Mission scientifique du Maroc, Alfred Le Chatelier, Quai d’Orsay, Ecole d’Alger, Archives marocaines, Bulletin du Comité de l’’Afrique française

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