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  • Author: Jocelyne Cesari
  • Publication Date: 08-2007
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: French Politics, Culture Society
  • Institution: Conference Group on French Politics Society
  • Abstract: All too often, the question of Muslim minorities in Europe and America is discussed solely in socioeconomic terms or with a simplistic focus on the Islamic religion and its purported incompatibility with democracy. This article focuses instead on the secularism of Western host societies as a major factor in the integration of Muslim minorities. It compares French and American secularism and argues that while French-style secularism has contributed to present tensions between French Muslims and the French state, American secularism has facilitated the integration of Muslims in the United States-even after 9/11.
  • Topic: Economics
  • Political Geography: United States, America, Europe
  • Author: Fabienne Randaxhe
  • Publication Date: 12-2007
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: French Politics, Culture Society
  • Institution: Conference Group on French Politics Society
  • Abstract: From a French perspective, the relationship between the state and religion in the United States may seem paradoxical. On the one hand, the American nation was the first one to have established, by constitutional means, a separation between religious bodies and the political realm. On the other hand, religious and political spheres in the US still seem to overlap to some extent. While French approaches tend to regard US laïcité as uncertain and incomplete, this article discusses whether laïcité is in the US incomplete or aware of tensions to be lessened among religious, political and social forces. I focus on legal regulation and consider the notion of accommodation as a particular form of legal laïcité.
  • Topic: Politics
  • Political Geography: United States, America
  • Author: Nicolas Weill
  • Publication Date: 03-2006
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: French Politics, Culture Society
  • Institution: Conference Group on French Politics Society
  • Abstract: The issue of the Islamic headscarf has troubled French society since the end of the 1980s and led to legislation, enacted on 15 March 2004, proscribing the wearing of headscarves or any other "conspicuous" religious symbol in schools. But what strained relationship between the state and religions, and more generally minorities, is hidden by this long controversy that preceded the centennial of the 1905 law separating church and state? This article aims to summarize for American readers the stakes involved in this long debate while putting it into historical perspective by trying to clear up misunderstandings that may crop up in discussions (on both sides of the Atlantic) of a subject where the famous "French exception" seems to be crystallized, that is, the practice of laïcité. Underlying these discussions, one must locate the treatment of religious minorities as put into place during the Napoleonic era in the case of the Jews, which has remained, mutatis mutandis, a model for the organization of Islam in the Hexagon at the beginning of the twenty-first century. Such a model is one of an assignment community, organized with the goal, inherited from the Revolution, of emancipating its members and responding to questions of public order.
  • Topic: Islam
  • Political Geography: America, France
  • Author: Nancy L. Green
  • Publication Date: 12-2006
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: French Politics, Culture Society
  • Institution: Conference Group on French Politics Society
  • Abstract: Tourists take travel seriously (up at 6 a.m., visiting several monuments a day, followed by Paree-by-night). So should historians. Not only because it is one of the world's major industries, but because tourism is at the crossroads of culture and consumption, pleasure and politics. Harvey Levenstein, a cultural historian (first of food, more recently of tourism), and Christopher Endy, a diplomatic historian, have published two very complementary, stimulating, and, gee, fun, books on cross-cultural encounters of a particular type.
  • Political Geography: America, France
  • Author: Christine Haynes
  • Publication Date: 06-2005
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: French Politics, Culture Society
  • Institution: Conference Group on French Politics Society
  • Abstract: The limited objections raised by members of the book trade to the press law at the time of the trial of Madame Bovary serve to highlight some fundamental characteristics and contradictions of liberalism in mid-nineteenth-century France. In general, liberalism in this time and place emphasized commercial freedom and property rights, at the expense of freedom of speech. In contrast to Anglo-American liberals, French liberals readily sacrificed this last freedom in the interest of "order," which was deemed necessary to promote the growth of commerce. As some of the most recent scholarship on the political culture of the Second Empire (and early- to mid-nineteenth-century France more generally) has shown, property, alongside education, was the main priority for liberals. It was only because property and education seemed to require it that freedom of the press eventually became important to French liberals and republicans. Intellectual freedom entered the political culture, for authors and publishers as well as statesmen, only through the back door of economic liberalism.
  • Topic: Politics, Culture
  • Political Geography: America, France
  • Author: Diane Barthel-Bouchier, Lauretta Clough
  • Publication Date: 06-2005
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: French Politics, Culture Society
  • Institution: Conference Group on French Politics Society
  • Abstract: This article examines this crisis in wine production through the prism of one Languedocien village faced with a decision of utmost economic and social significance. In 2000-2001, the California winemaker Robert Mondavi tried to buy land in the village of Aniane in order to build a winery that would produce wine of exceptional quality. The Mondavi company was already installed nearby in Montpellier as a purchaser of wines to be incorporated into its own blend under the label of Vichon Méditerranée. Its representative, David Pearson, was well acquainted with the local political scene. What Pearson and Mondavi appear to have underestimated, however, was the symbolic significance that would be attached to their attempt to purchase land in Aniane. For the land they wanted to buy was not private but communal, and they weren't ordinary winemakers but representatives of an American-owned multinational corporation.
  • Topic: Politics
  • Political Geography: America, California
  • Author: François Lagarde
  • Publication Date: 06-2005
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: French Politics, Culture Society
  • Institution: Conference Group on French Politics Society
  • Abstract: La guerre américaine en Iraq était annoncée, et on a eu le temps d'en parler et de lui trouver une causalité ou une finalité, ou au contraire une illégalité ou une immoralité. L'attentat du 11 septembre 2001 survint sans que l'on s'y attende, et c'est après l'événement subit qu'il fallut le penser, dans " l'inappropriablité, l'imprévisibilité, la surprise absolue, l'incompréhension, le risque de méprise, la nouveauté inanticipable, la singularité pure, l'absence d'horizon ", comme le dit Derrida. On a eu du mal à voir, à ressentir le 11 Septembre en France à cause des distances géographiques et culturelles et à cause de la télévision, et on est resté sans quoi dire. On a d'abord pensé à soi-ramener l'événement à soi, pour la réassurance. Puis on s'est détourné du lieu, de l'événement du 11 Septembre, pour en penser la date, l'histoire, les origines et on s'est davantage intéressé aux auteurs de l'attentat qu'aux victimes. On découvrit alors, dans ce qui était au commencement impensable, une historicité, une légitimité, une rationalité, une possible bonté de la terreur.
  • Political Geography: America, France
  • Author: Sophie Meunier
  • Publication Date: 06-2005
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: French Politics, Culture Society
  • Institution: Conference Group on French Politics Society
  • Abstract: Why do the French appear as incorrigible anti-Americans? Why is France singled out as a bastion of systematic opposition to US policies? Anti-Americanism can be defined as an unfavorable predisposition towards the United States, which leads individuals to interpret American actions through pre-existing views and negative stereotypes, irrespectively of the facts.8 It is based on a belief that there is something fundamentally wrong at the essence of what is America. This unfavorable predisposition manifests itself in beliefs, attitudes and rhetoric, which may or may not affect political behavior. Is France, according to this definition, anti-American? It is difficult in practice to distinguish between genuine anti-Americanism (disposition) and genuine criticism of the United States (opinion). It is partly because of this definitional ambiguity that France appears more anti-American than its European partners. While it is not clear that the French have a stronger negative predisposition against the US, they do have stronger opinions about America for at least three main reasons: the deep reservoir of anti-American arguments accumulated over the centuries; the simultaneous coexistence of a variety of types of anti-Americanism; and the costless ways in which anti-Americanism has been used for political benefit. This article explores each of these three features in turn, before discussing briefly the consequences of French anti-Americanism on world politics.
  • Topic: Politics
  • Political Geography: United States, America, France
  • Author: Graeme Hayes
  • Publication Date: 12-2005
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: French Politics, Culture Society
  • Institution: Conference Group on French Politics Society
  • Abstract: The development of multiplex cinemas has reinvigorated film exhibition and cinema attendance in France. Yet in the wake of the exception culturelle, multiplexes also stoked corporatist fears over the Americanization of French cinema, and in 1996 the state introduced a regulatory procedure for multiplexes modeled on the loi Royer. Regulation has not stopped subsequent multiplex development but rather protected the dominant market position of the major, vertically-integrated French exhibitors. The resultant economic concentration has undoubtedly increased the domestic and international competitiveness of French cinema, but at the price of industry polarization and a loss of cultural and economic pluralism.
  • Topic: Globalization
  • Political Geography: America, France
  • Author: Edward C. Knox
  • Publication Date: 12-2005
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: French Politics, Culture Society
  • Institution: Conference Group on French Politics Society
  • Abstract: The flow of works on problematic French-American relations continues apace, more or less explicitly in the wake of books by Philippe Roger and Jean-François Revel.1 As their subtitles indicate, the three reviewed here take on the topic from highly critical standpoints.
  • Political Geography: America, France
  • Author: Sophie Meunier
  • Publication Date: 03-2004
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: French Politics, Culture Society
  • Institution: Conference Group on French Politics Society
  • Abstract: The most common perception of France found these days in the American media is that of an arrogant country, whose international gesticulations are the last hurrah masking its inevitable decline into oblivion. The French have not yet come to terms with their lengthy collapse, which started with the devastation of World War I, continued with the humiliation of their defeat in 1940 and was furthered by the loss of their colonial empire. This would explain their support, still to this day, for a Gaullist policy made up of power incantations, in contrast to real power-or lack thereof.
  • Political Geography: America, France
  • Author: Lionel Jospin
  • Publication Date: 06-2004
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: French Politics, Culture Society
  • Institution: Conference Group on French Politics Society
  • Abstract: Since the relationship between France and the United States is going through a difficult period, we must find opportunities to talk things over. It is true that it is not always easy to broach the subject of this relationship between the US and France in a balanced and reasonable way. We idealize its past and blacken its present. On the one hand, invoking the illustrious names of such figures as Benjamin Franklin, Thomas Jefferson, Pierre- Augustin Caron de Beaumarchais, or the marquis de la Fayette romanticizes the actually very complicated political and diplomatic process that brought France to America's aid during the War of Independence. Neither the monarchical France of the Ancien Régime, nor that of the revolutionary Terror that led up to the Caesar-state of Bonaparte could have been in perfect symbiosis with the young American democratic republic, despite our shared Enlightenment references.
  • Political Geography: United States, America, France
  • Author: Richard Kuisel
  • Publication Date: 09-2004
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: French Politics, Culture Society
  • Institution: Conference Group on French Politics Society
  • Abstract: What do the French think of Americans and the United States? This is a grand question whose answer reveals a crucial dimension of the current tension in Franco-American relations. It is also a question that can be answered reasonably well. Transatlantic troubles have stirred interest in ascertaining the state of public opinion. The result is an extraordinary number of comprehensive surveys conducted over the last five years. The US Department of State, for example, has systematically monitored French attitudes. So have many French and American polling agencies like SOFRES, CSA, and the Pew Center. Foundations like the French-American Foundation and the German Marshall Fund of the US have also sponsored research. Between fifteen and twenty thousand Frenchmen and women have recorded their opinion in such surveys. This evidence provides a unique opportunity for research into how the man- or woman-in-the-street views the United States.
  • Topic: International Relations
  • Political Geography: United States, America, France
  • Author: Brian A. McKenzie
  • Publication Date: 03-2003
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: French Politics, Culture Society
  • Institution: Conference Group on French Politics Society
  • Abstract: This article examines the promotion of American tourism to France during the Marshall Plan. The paper assesses the cultural and economic goals of the tourism program. Economic aid provided by the United States was essential for the post-war reconstruction of the French tourism industry. Furthermore, transatlantic air carriers adopted new guidelines for tourist class airfares at the urging of U.S. officials. The paper also examines marketing strategies and the creation of tourism infrastructures that facilitated transatlantic tourism. Representatives from the French tourism industry visited the United States to study American hotels and they agreed to adopt practices and rebuild French hotels in ways that would be congenial to American tourists. The paper demonstrates that French and American officials and tourism professionals Americanized the French tourism industry during the Marshall Plan.
  • Topic: Economics
  • Political Geography: United States, America, France
  • Author: Christopher Endy
  • Publication Date: 03-2003
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: French Politics, Culture Society
  • Institution: Conference Group on French Politics Society
  • Abstract: In the late 1950s and 1960s, many French politicians, journalists, and travel industry leaders argued that the French had lost their manners. Although some foreigners, most notably Americans, spoke of rude French hosts, this negative stereotype was largely a French construction. Defenders of artisanal tradition reinforced the idea of French rudeness to highlight the dangers of postwar modernization, while technocratic commentators used the stereotype to criticize artisanal practices. Responding to this perceived crisis in hospitality, Charles de Gaulle's Fifth Republic expanded its involvement in mass tourism, launching "amicability" campaigns and boosting investment in high-rise hotels. The discourse of French rudeness helps explain the evolution of France's travel industry and illuminates cultural dimensions to postwar modernization and Franco-American relations.
  • Political Geography: America, France
  • Publication Date: 03-2003
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: French Politics, Culture Society
  • Institution: Conference Group on French Politics Society
  • Abstract: The new Mansfield and Winthrop translation of Tocqueville's classic text, notable for the lengthy introduction the translators provide as well as their determined effort to create the most literal word-for-word translation that has ever been published of the work, draws the critical eye of four Tocqueville specialists. Focusing on the introduction, Seymour Drescher points out that the translators' decision to regard the Democracy of 1935 and the one of 1840 as a single work, a decision made against the grain of recent scholarship, leads them into misunderstandings of how Tocqueville came to view the strengths and weaknesses of American democracy by the 1840s. Arthur Goldhammer, at work on his own translation of Democracy, goes beyond the longstanding debates over literal versus interpretive translation to point out a large number of errors in rendering French expressions into English. Melvin Richter explores a number of instances where the pursuit of literalness leads to distortions, and then focuses on the consequences translating l'état social as "social state" rather than "state of society." Cheryl Welch examines how the decision to translate inquiet as "restive" rather than "restless" or "anxious," as she would have preferred, leads the translators to underestimate how much Tocqueville's views of religion and women were informed by his own anxieties about moral disorder in a democratic society. Mansfield and Winthrop respond to their critics with a detailed discussion of several of their most controversial word choices and with a defense of their strategy of literal translation.
  • Political Geography: America
  • Author: Gilberte Furstenberg
  • Publication Date: 06-2003
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: French Politics, Culture Society
  • Institution: Conference Group on French Politics Society
  • Abstract: The MIT Cultura project juxtaposes French/American opinion and expression, in order to involve respondents in a collaborative and ongoing process designed to identify perspectives and values, and so to undermine cross-cultural misconceptions and stereotypes.
  • Political Geography: America, France
  • Author: Sophie Body-Gendrot
  • Publication Date: 06-2003
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: French Politics, Culture Society
  • Institution: Conference Group on French Politics Society
  • Abstract: Analysis of opinion polls shows that even Americans unfamiliar with France are prepared to hold opinions about the country. Many see France as a non-America, a positive or negative counter-model. Moreover, "Americans" comprise many different perspectives and so "France" does not mean the same thing to everyone.
  • Political Geography: America, France
  • Author: Jean-Phlippe Mathy
  • Publication Date: 06-2003
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: French Politics, Culture Society
  • Institution: Conference Group on French Politics Society
  • Abstract: Francophobia is at base a systematic and recurrent critique of an alleged societal model based on political centralization and cultural elitism, seen as beginning with the monarchy and continuing on into the Republic, and contrasting with American liberalism, democracy, egalitarianism, and anti-statism.
  • Political Geography: America
  • Author: Justin Vaïsse
  • Publication Date: 06-2003
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: French Politics, Culture Society
  • Institution: Conference Group on French Politics Society
  • Abstract: Francophobia, a set of stereotypes, insults, and ready-made judgments designed to prove one's patriotism and score political points, is based primarily in diplomatic and conservative circles. The war in Iraq was a moment of special mobilization of Francophobia by the administration and a large share of the media, and may prove to have been a crystallizing moment for the discourse.
  • Topic: War
  • Political Geography: Iraq, America