This book investigates the importance of waging jihad for legitimacy in pre-colonial Morocco. It counters colonial interpretations of the pre-colonial Moroccan sultanate as hopelessly divided into territories of 'obedience' and 'dissidence' by suggesting that state-society warfare was one aspect of a constant process of political negotiation. Detailed analysis of state and society interpretations of jihad during the critical period of the French conquest of Algeria clearly shows this process at play and its steady evolution in the context of increasing European pressure, which culminated in the imposition of the French protectorate in 1912.
'[Bennison] unravels the multi-polar complexities of the story with great skill and gives us the most penetrating study we have to date of the consequences of the Algerian crisis for Moroccan society and government.' - African History