Western Sahara and Morocco: Complexities of Resistance and Analysis

  • Matthew Porges
Part of the Palgrave Series in African Borderlands Studies book series (PSABS)


This chapter explores some challenges of analysis faced by scholars of the Western Sahara conflict. Western Sahara is a former Spanish colony that has been largely under Moroccan occupation since the conclusion of a 1975–1991 war between Morocco and the pro-independence Polisario Front. Although the international legal consensus regards Morocco’s occupation of Western Sahara as illegitimate and illegal, a UN mission to organize a referendum on independence has so far failed to carry out its purpose. While there are insights to be gained from studying the conflict through the lenses of decolonization, secessionism, and several other frameworks, none of these fully capture the unique history of Western Sahara. This chapter explores some of the challenges that contested history poses to both scholarly analysis and the ongoing political process.


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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Matthew Porges
    • 1
  1. 1.University of St AndrewsSt AndrewsUK

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