In a context of escalating violence and deepening incomprehension between ethnic minority youths and French authorities, the writings of Azouz Begag, one of France's bestknown authors of Algerian origin, have recently assumed a new significance. Between June 2005 and April 2007, Begag served as minister for equal opportunities, charged with deconstructing the manifold barriers that prevent young men and women of immigrant origin from entering into mainstream French society. The post was tailor-made for him. Whether as a novelist, sociologist, screenplay writer or political commentator, Begag's much-acclaimed work centres on issues of social justice and identity politics, ethnic diversity and social integration. A leading figure in the Beur movement, through which second-generation Maghrebi immigrants have defined and articulated their place in French...

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