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The very first students arrived at LSE 120 years ago this year, on 10 October 1895. We are celebrating the people, places and sometimes quirky events that make up the story of LSE, from 1895 to 2015. Look out for events, blog posts, publications, video and audio telling you more than you ever thought you could possibly want to know about what has made LSE one of the world’s most influential seats of learning.

Articles by BlogAdmin

A Brexit summer reading guide

July 31, 2017

Have you been struggling to keep up with all the new books on Brexit? Were you secretly planning to spend your summer holiday catching up on some of them? OK – perhaps not. But if you were, Tim Oliver is here to help with a guide on what to take away with you to the beach or pool to focus on an issue that will keep us busy for several more summers to come.

Summer brings with it a host of reading lists on what to take away with you to while away the hours by the poolside or on the beach. The thought of a guide on what books to take away to read on Brexit might fill most people with horror. Even though Brexit negotiations are now underway, ‘banging on about Europe’, as David Cameron once put it, remains a sure way of boring most people. Giving the appearance you’re prepared to bang on about

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Book Review: Combatants of Muslim Origin in European Armies in the Twentieth Century: Far from Jihad

July 30, 2017

In Combatants of Muslim Origin in European Armies in the Twentieth Century: Far from Jihad, Xavier Bougarel, Raphaëlle Branche and Cloé Drieu offer a collection attending to the everyday experiences and practices of the Muslim combatants who fought in the ranks of various European armies, but have hitherto been neglected in many existing historical studies. The book’s non-Anglocentric approach makes it essential reading for scholars looking to deepen their understanding of the world wars, writes Sneha Reddy.
Combatants of Muslim Origin in European Armies in the Twentieth Century: Far from Jihad. Xavier Bougarel, Raphaëlle Branche and Cloé Drieu (eds). Bloomsbury. 2017.
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Rarely does an edited volume bring scholars with such wide-ranging expertise together to critically

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Brexit and the ECJ: If the UK plays in EU territory, it has to accept EU rules and referees

July 28, 2017

Theresa May was adamant that the UK would not accept the jurisdiction of the European Court of Justice after Brexit. But as reality has sunk in, that red line has begun to blur. LSE Fellow Anna Tsiftsoglou explains why the ECJ is such a vital issue in the exit negotiations. To reverse David Davis’ footballing metaphor, if the UK plays in EU territory, it has to accept EU rules and referees.

Swiss referee Massimo Busacca. Credits: Steindy (CC BY 2.0).
At the 2016 Conservative Party Conference, Theresa May emphatically declared to her party that ‘’we are not leaving (the EU) only to return to the jurisdiction of the European Court of Justice. That is not going to happen.” Fast forward nine months: in July 2017, Mrs. May, deeply wounded at the recent snap election, and already three months

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CEP study: The UK areas that will be hit most (and least) by Brexit

July 27, 2017

The LSE’s Centre for Economic Performance (working with the Centre for Cities think tank) has carried out a study shedding light upon the local economic impact of Brexit. Henry G. Overman writes that it is the richer cities, predominantly in the south of England, that will be hit hardest by Brexit, with this effect particularly apparent in areas specialised in services.

Canary Wharf at night. The City of London is predicted to be the UK geographic area hardest hit by Brexit. Credits: Dave Pape.
Our research (with Swati Dhingra and Stephen Machin) looks at the difference in predicted effects across all Local Authority Areas and across Primary Urban Areas under a ‘soft’ and a ‘hard’ Brexit scenario (the former involves zero tariffs, but increased non-tariff barriers with the EU, the latter

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All EU migrants are not equal: the gendered consequences of Brexit

July 25, 2017

EU residency rights have gendered consequences, writes Isabel Shutes, Assistant Professor of Social Policy at the LSE. The unpaid labour of women with young children, who take time out of paid work to look after them, is not recognised as “genuine and effective work” in EU case law. Consequently, they are at greater risk of losing their status as ‘workers’ and have to rely on having a partner who is a working EU citizen or being self-sufficient to claim residence rights. Brexit negotiators must avoid putting an extra, gendered burden on these women to prove their right to stay.
Free movement is a critical issue in the Brexit negotiations, and the future rights of EU nationals living in the UK are of prominent concern. But it is, already, much less free for some than for others.
All EU

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Book Review: The Holocaust: A New History by Laurence Rees

July 23, 2017

Drawing on 25 years of research, The Holocaust: A New History offers a new major treatment of the Holocaust that traces events in their entirety from their origins to their horrifying conclusions. Gary Wilson praises Laurence Rees for this eminently readable account, which offers definitive insight into this appalling history. 
The Holocaust: A New History. Laurence Rees. Viking. 2017.
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It is over 30 years since Martin Gilbert’s epic history of the Holocaust was published, and as any literature survey will demonstrate, this new text from Laurence Rees represents the first major treatment of the history of the Holocaust in its entirety – tracing it from its origins to its conclusion – since then. Gilbert’s work is a classic, and no subsequent text is likely to decrease its

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‘Oh Jeremy Corbyn’: What GE2017 taught us about the link between music and politics

July 22, 2017

Does music have an effect on politics? Analysing the involvement of musicians in the UK’s 2017 general election campaign, Patrycja Rozbicka explains why we should start viewing music as a form of engagement with politics, not merely of political expression.
The phenomenon of mixing music and politics together is not new. We are familiar with New Labour using D:Ream’s ‘Things Can Only Get Better’ as their 1997 anthem, the Conservatives Party launching their 2010 manifesto to David Bowie’s ‘Changes’ and Keane’s ‘Everybody’s Changing’, while the Liberal Democrats used Brian Eno’s ‘An Ending (Ascent)’ in their party election broadcast that same year. Musicians were accordingly deployed to seek the popular vote ahead of the 2017 election, and Labour were definitely the ones to have exploited

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Brexit can be stopped – but the window of opportunity is closing fast

July 19, 2017

The idea of a vote on the final Brexit deal is an appealing one to Remainers, says Steve Bullock. But by Christmas 2018, after acrimonious negotiations, the rest of the EU may be in no mood to give the UK a second chance. In any case, there would be no time to renegotiate before the 2019 deadline, which would mean Britain might end up leaving with no deal at all. The time to call a halt is now – while the EU is still receptive.
Like many staunch Remainers, I’ve often found myself supporting calls for a referendum, or, at the very least, a vote in Parliament on the final Brexit deal. It is an appealing thought. It gives hope that Brexit can be stopped at the last moment, between a deal being agreed and the UK’s exit from the EU. It also gives a nice clear defence to the ‘will of the people’

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There’s no such thing as ‘associate membership’ of Euratom

July 18, 2017

The UK’s Article 50 letter which triggered its exit from the European Union also indicated that the country would be leaving the European nuclear regulator Euratom following Brexit. However, several MPs, including some prominent leave campaigners, have criticised this position, arguing instead for the UK to have some form of associate membership of Euratom after it leaves the EU. David Phinnemore highlights that there is currently no such thing as ‘associate membership’ of Euratom, but that other routes for an association between the UK and Euratom could potentially be pursued.
The debate on whether the UK should leave Euratom as part of its withdrawal from the EU has understandably led to the question on what the alternatives are. Initial responses have included calls for the UK to pursue

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How party systems in Central and Eastern Europe affect government formation

July 17, 2017

Coalition governments are the norm in most European countries, but how do the dynamics of coalition negotiations differ between Western European states and those in Central and Eastern Europe? Drawing on a recent study, Lee Savage illustrates that some common features of Central and Eastern European party systems, such as greater electoral volatility, can lead to coalition formation processes that are distinct from those in Western Europe.
The question of ‘who governs’ rarely has a straightforward answer. It is not often that a general election delivers a single party that holds a parliamentary majority so in most European countries, a period of coalition formation is necessary to decide which party or parties assume office. It is therefore little surprise that the process of coalition

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German election campaign series: CDU/CSU – “For a Germany in which we live well and enjoy living”

July 17, 2017

German voters will go to the polls on 24 September for federal elections. But what do the country’s parties want? What are the possible coalitions? And who has the best campaign strategy to sell their proposals to the electorate? In the first of a series of articles analysing each of the main parties’ campaign pledges, Julian Göpffarth assesses the programme of Angela Merkel’s CDU/CSU.
After four tumultuous years, the CDU/CSU embodies the principle of getting “back to normal” after the Eurozone and migration crises as well as months of terror and international instability. The two-party coalition of the Christian Democratic Union and the Bavaria based Christian Social Union were the last to reveal their programme ahead of the 2017 elections. Instead of putting forward their proposals at a

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Book Review: Migration, Ethics & Power: Spaces of Hospitality in International Politics by Dan Bulley

July 16, 2017

In Migration, Ethics and Power: Spaces of Hospitality in International Politics, Dan Bulley offers a study of the ethics and politics of hospitality, exploring how spaces are produced through various negotiations of host/guest relations. Covering such topics as refugee camps, global cities and the institutional ethos of the EU, this book is a sophisticated and nuanced conceptualisation of hospitality that will be of interest to researchers of migration, political geography and global ethics, writes Chenchen Zhang.
Migration, Ethics & Power: Spaces of Hospitality in International Politics. Dan Bulley. SAGE. 2016.
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This timely, insightful and provocative book brings an innovative theoretical perspective to a subject that is crucial to the global governance of mobility and

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A hard Irish border is quite possible, a frictionless one is an oxymoron

July 15, 2017

The prospects for ‘frictionless’ and ‘invisible’ solutions for the Irish border after Brexit are limited. Katy Hayward outlines a ‘practical’ summary of the difference that would be made by a ‘hard’ Brexit to the movement of goods across the Irish border. 
Michel Barnier’s dismissal of the notion of ‘frictionless’ trade between the UK and EU after Brexit has direct ramifications for one of the most complex problems faced by the Brexit negotiators: how to manage the Irish border. The UK government has frequently emphasised its desire to see the continuation of the ‘seamless frictionless border’ with the Republic of Ireland after Brexit and, more recently, David Davis has affirmed the UK government’s desire to maintain an ‘invisible border’ between the UK and Ireland. For its part, the

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Has the Western Balkans 6 process become a ‘surrogate for the real thing’?

July 14, 2017

On 12 July, EU leaders met with Prime Ministers of Balkan countries in the Italian city of Trieste. Tena Prelec gives a first-hand account, writing that the ‘Western Balkans 6’ (WB6) initiative – or ‘Berlin Process’ – has had the laudable effect of keeping some attention on the Western Balkans in years when the EU enlargement process was paused, but is now at risk of becoming a substitute for enlargement itself, keeping the WB6 countries in limbo. While the jury is still out on the concrete outcomes this process will bring, a particularly bright development is occurring in the field of youth integration, with the establishment of the Regional Youth Cooperation Council (RYCO).
When Angela Merkel took the initiative to establish what was to become known as the Berlin Process in 2014, she

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‘Bloody difficult’ Britain has already blown its chances of a good deal from the EU27

July 11, 2017

The run-up to the Brexit negotiations has been disastrous for the UK, writes former negotiator Steve Bullock. It has hectored and insulted the EU27’s intelligence and undermined its own credibility. The chances of securing a good deal in the time left are minimal: approaching extremely complex negotiations, Britain chose to be ‘bloody difficult’.
Being “tough” and being “difficult” are not the same thing. Being tough can work, but only if deployed sparingly at strategic points in negotiations. Being difficult for difficult’s sake never works. It simply breaks trust and creates resentment leading to a justifiable unwillingness in partners to compromise.
Successful negotiation in the EU is not, contrary to popular belief, about thumping the table and demanding you get everything you want for

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Trump’s Warsaw speech was a shot in the arm for Poland in its stand-off with Brussels over migration

July 10, 2017

US President Donald Trump spoke in Warsaw on 6 July before travelling to the G20 summit in Hamburg. Daniel Falkiner writes that Trump’s apparent support for Poland in its dispute with Brussels over the migration crisis risks fostering division among EU member states at a time when talk of a ‘multi-speed Europe’ is already gaining momentum in Paris and Berlin.
A lot of ink has been spilled already over President Trump’s speech in the Polish capital of Warsaw on 6 July. Much of this has focused on Trump’s alleged dog whistles to parts of his base in the United States. But although some of Trump’s speech may have been tailored to his domestic audience, his most important message was directed towards the politicians seated before him and even more so to leaders in capitals further west. The

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Is social democracy facing extinction in Europe?

July 10, 2017

One of the more surprising aspects of Labour’s strong performance in the UK’s general election is that it came at a time when social democratic parties have experienced falling support in other countries across Europe. Davide Vittori asks whether the exceptionally poor results of parties such as the French Socialist Party in recent elections herald the end of social democracy as we know it in Europe.
The last French presidential election and the recent legislative elections confirmed a seemingly unstoppable declining trend in the electoral support of social democratic parties. For the second time in the last fifteen years, the official candidate of the French Socialist Party (PS) was excluded from the second round; in both cases, the “outsider” was represented by the candidate of the Front

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Book Review: Russia: What Everyone Needs to Know by Timothy J. Colton

July 9, 2017

In Russia: What Everyone Needs to Know, Timothy J. Colton offers a concise yet comprehensive introduction to Russia’s current political climate. The book is refreshingly easy to read, writes April Curtis, and is rich in detailed information that will make it an excellent choice for those wanting to better understand the historical roots of Russia’s present. 
Russia: What Everyone Needs to Know. Timothy J. Colton. Oxford University Press. 2016.
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In the contemporary political climate, Russia’s intentions are increasingly opaque. Russian President Vladimir Putin looks to Russia’s past for inspiration for its future, and therefore an understanding of Russia’s history is essential to deciphering the Kremlin’s current aims. Timothy J. Colton’s new book, Russia: What Everyone

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Four reasons why welfare reform is a delusion

July 8, 2017

Reforming the welfare system has been a key aim of British government since 2010. Richard Machin writes that the concept makes no economic sense, it does not produce the outcomes the government is seeking, all while the UK is actually spending less on welfare than countries with comparable economies.
Back in 2010, the coalition government stated that welfare reform is essential to make the benefit system more affordable and to reduce poverty, worklessness, and fraud. The 2017 manifestos of the main partiesoffered a genuine choice of whether to pursue or abandon this policy. For working-age benefit claimants, Labour and the Liberal Democrats proposed a series of sweeping reforms including the abolition of the ‘bedroom tax’ and the sanctions regime. A lack of detail in the Conservative

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How is the European migration crisis affecting Polish politics?

July 6, 2017

The migration crisis has recently re-surfaced as a major issue in Poland, as its right-wing government came under pressure from the European Commission to comply with the EU’s relocation scheme. Aleks Szczerbiak argues that most Poles are keen to avoid the problems they feel West European countries have experienced through admitting large numbers of migrants. With the opposition uncertain how to respond, the ruling party will continue to oppose migrant quotas vigorously and use the issue to mobilise support for the government.
Law and Justice rejects the EU relocation scheme
The migration crisis has rumbled on for the last two years since it developed as a major issue in Polish politics dividing the main parties in the run up to the most recent October 2015 parliamentary election. Along

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Free abortions in England will not remove the fundamental injustice Northern Irish women suffer

July 4, 2017

The government’s decision to finally allow Northern Irish women to have free NHS abortions in England is to be welcomed, writes Jennifer Thomson. Yet the move does not remove the more fundamental injustice of their situation, as it does not place these women on an equal footing with their English, Scottish and Welsh counterparts.
An announcement by Justine Greening, Minister for Women and Equalities, on 29 June indicated that Northern Irish women will no longer have to pay to access terminations in England. Motivated by the proposed amendment of backbench Labour MP, Stella Creasy, the government avoided a vote in the Commons on the issue and declared instead that they will pay for Northern Irish women who travel to mainland UK for abortions.
Such an announcement is to be welcomed. Northern

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All spending is not equal: How the EU can increase public support for the EU

July 4, 2017

People who live in regions that receive high levels of EU funding might be expected to have more positive attitudes toward the EU. However, as Adam William Chalmers and Lisa Maria Dellmuth demonstrate, this relationship is not as simple as it might appear. Drawing on a recent study, they illustrate that a region’s needs make a large difference to the effectiveness of EU funding in building public support: where funding meets a clearly defined need for the local population it has a far more positive effect.

Image credit: Pixabay / public domain.
Public support is central to the functioning of the European Union. Yet over the past decades, the EU has become increasingly publicly contested, severely limiting its ability to solve problems effectively. A growing number of academics and

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How the EU’s partnership with Myanmar is furthering its goals in Southeast Asia

July 3, 2017

In 2016, the EU agreed a ‘Special Partnership for Democracy, Peace and Prosperity’ with Myanmar. Ludovica Marchi assesses how the EU’s engagement with Myanmar has furthered its goals in Southeast Asia. The partnership advanced several EU ambitions, boosting the EU’s presence in the region, bolstering its relations with the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), and enhancing the EU’s role as an advocate of security policy cooperation.
The EU’s ‘Special Partnership for Democracy, Peace and Prosperity’ with Myanmar was a major overture by the EU and its member states toward the Southeast Asian state. It was facilitated by Myanmar’s former President Thein Sein’s approach to reform before and during the aftermath of the country’s 2011 elections. The ensuing military-backed civilian

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Europe’s legitimacy crisis isn’t just about identity, it’s about institutions

July 3, 2017

The UK’s decision to vote for Brexit has been viewed by many observers as proof that the European Union suffers from a deep crisis of legitimacy. As Matt Wood highlights, this crisis is often conceived of in identity terms, with a large number of EU citizens no longer feeling ‘European’ or identifying with the goals of European integration. However, he argues that while public identification with Europe is important, the roots of the EU’s legitimacy crisis lie within the EU institutions and their perceived distance from citizens.
The debate on Europe’s legitimacy since Britain’s Brexit vote has tended to focus on issues of identity and meaning. Why did the British public not feel ‘European’ enough to remain? How could campaigners fail so spectacularly to communicate the benefits of single

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Book Review: On Extremism and Democracy in Europe by Cas Mudde

July 2, 2017

In On Extremism and Democracy in Europe, Cas Mudde presents a number of essays reflecting on the far right, populism, Euroscepticism and the state of liberal democracy today. Challenging prevailing fears, particularly those promoted in the mainstream media, this book offers a reliable and approachable analysis of contemporary European politics that will be of use to those trying to understand recent events, writes Marta López Solé.
On Extremism and Democracy in Europe. Cas Mudde. Routledge. 2016.
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Following the French Presidential election results on 7 May 2017, we have seen how most of the media celebrated Emmanuel Macron’s victory as the triumph of liberal democratic values and Europeanism over far-right populism. However, On Extremism and Democracy in Europe will open

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Prime Minister Edi Rama takes total control in Albania, but who can keep him in check?

June 30, 2017

Albania held parliamentary elections on 25 June, with the ruling Socialist Party led by Edi Rama winning a majority of seats. Max Fras gives his take on the outcome, arguing that while Rama’s victory will be a positive development for Albania’s EU accession aspirations, his now dominant position could pose a risk to the country’s democratisation process.
After parliamentary elections in Albania on 25 June, the Socialist Party (PS) took power with an outright majority and the ability to form a single-party government – a development the country has not seen since 2001. The election presents a unique opportunity for a country that has been marred by political divisions and coalition in-fighting to pursue an ambitious agenda of reform and European integration.
On the other hand, the region’s

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Youth politics: Russia’s protests reflect a Europe-wide rebellion against the status quo

June 29, 2017

In Russia, Aleksei Navalny initiated a new nationwide wave of protests that confirmed the Kremlin faces significant legitimacy issues, especially among the younger generation. Tomila Lankina argues that this trend is not confined to Russia, and can indeed be noticed across the continent – from Macron’s victory in France to young people taking a more active role in politics in the UK and elsewhere.
The recent protests in Russia echo political trends in Europe where youth disaffected with lack of economic prospects, soaring unemployment, and high student debt retreat into apathy and wallow in their disillusionment with established political parties and political class; embrace alternative political leaders and movements like Emmanuel Macron and his En Marche! in France; or indeed take to the

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Italy versus Spain: Two measures for solving the same banking problem

June 28, 2017

On 24 June, the Italian government announced that it would intervene in two banks, Veneto Banca and Banca Popolare di Vicenza. Both banks were to be wound down with each bank’s good assets being sold to the Intesa Sanpaolo banking group. Mara Monti compares the affair with the case of Spain’s Banco Popular, which was saved from collapse just a few weeks before, but using a notably different approach.
The new European resolution framework represents a large improvement on the process that prevailed before and during the crisis. The aim of regulators is to make the system safer, and to create a process where important financial institutions can fail in an orderly manner. To preserve public finance and market discipline, the principle of the post-crisis financial regulations is that no

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Forget the record fine: The real impact of the Commission’s Google decision will be its effect on competition law

June 28, 2017

On 27 June, the European Commission ruled that Google has been abusing its position by placing its own shopping comparison service at the top of search result pages. Carlos Arrebola highlights that although the record fine imposed on Google (2.42 billion euros) has dominated the media coverage of the case, the decision is far more important for its impact on competition law.

Credit: Google and the Google logo are registered trademarks of Google Inc., used with permission.
After years of investigation, the first of the European Commission’s decisions against Google is here. Obviously, most of the coverage in the mass media and online will focus on the high sum of the fine (a staggering 2.42 billion euros). However, the wider implications of the case reach well beyond the monetary fine. It

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Political turmoil in Morocco spills over into tensions with the Netherlands

June 27, 2017

Morocco recalled its Ambassador to the Netherlands following a row over the extradition of a former Moroccan MP who has been linked to protests in the country. Luigi Lonardo explains the background to the incident and assesses what it might mean for Morocco’s relationship with the European Union.
The rapid Arab expansion that started in the seventh century heavily depended on one means of transportation: the camel. As Islamic Historian Adam Silverstein has explained, the Arab conquest, which spanned from India to Spain in just a few centuries, only grinded to a halt where camels could not proceed: sea and mountains.
The mountainous region of the Rif, in the north of the Kingdom of Morocco, where people have a Berber language as their mother tongue, has therefore been a hot-bed of

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