Intelligence and Urban Opposition in French Territories

Thomas Martin

in Empires of Intelligence

Published by University of California Press

Published in print September 2007 | ISBN: 9780520251175
Published online March 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780520933743 | DOI:
Intelligence and Urban Opposition in French Territories

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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

Chapter.  10944 words. 

Subjects: Modern History (1700 to 1945)

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