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Bourdieu’s capital and insurgent group resilience:a field-theoretic approach to the polisario front

Published on Jul 4, 2018in Small Wars & Insurgencies
· DOI :10.1080/09592318.2018.1488407
Claire Metelits5
Estimated H-index: 5
(AU: American University)
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Abstract
ABSTRACTThe conflict between the rebel group, the Polisario Front, and the Kingdom of Morocco is nearing its 43rd year. Though under-reported, the conflict itself garners attention for the resilience – some would say tenacity – of the ethnically Sahrawi Polisario Front. Despite shifting regional and international politics and the nearly 150,000 Sahrawi refugees waiting in nearby Algerian camps, the rebel group has survived. What explains its resilience? This article uses Bourdieu’s ‘forms of capital’ to understand the Polisario Front’s persistence. Based on field research in Algeria, Western Sahara, and the United States, it finds that social, cultural, symbolic, and economic capital may provide an explanation.
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