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  • Author: Nancy L. Green
  • Publication Date: 06-2008
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: French Politics, Culture Society
  • Institution: Conference Group on French Politics Society
  • Abstract: Tocqueville says nothing about immigrants in America. Neither “immigré(s),” “immigration” or the word “immigrant(s)” appear in De la démocratie en Amérique. This is hardly surprising, for two reasons: the word and the reality, that is, the French language and the American context. In Tocqueville's native tongue, the term is absent in the 1835 (6th) edition of the Dictionnaire de l'Académie française. The term émigration was for years the French word of choice to describe those who had changed countries. (Émigrés of course retained its more restrictive meaning, referring to those who fled the Revolution.)
  • Topic: Civil Society, Migration
  • Political Geography: United States, Europe, France
  • Author: Nathan Bracher
  • Publication Date: 03-2007
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: French Politics, Culture Society
  • Institution: Conference Group on French Politics Society
  • Abstract: In reviewing various commemorations that highlighted the year 2005 in France, this article points out the major evolutions of memory visible primarily in the press and media coverage of these events. If public memory remains as highly charged and polemical as it was in the 1980s and 1990s, attention is clearly turning away from the Occupation and Vichy to focus more on Europe and on France's colonial past, as we see not only in the ceremonies celebrating the “liberation” of Auschwitz, the Allied victory over Nazi Germany, and the dedication of the Mémorial de la Shoah, but also in the many articles devoted to Russian and Eastern European experiences of the war, as well as to the bloody postwar repressions of colonial uprisings in Algeria and Madagascar. Now that racial and ethnic tensions are exacerbating an increasingly fragmented public memory, the work of history is more urgent than ever.
  • Political Geography: Russia, Europe, Eastern Europe, France, Germany, Algeria, Madagascar
  • Author: Jean Baubérot
  • Publication Date: 08-2007
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: French Politics, Culture Society
  • Institution: Conference Group on French Politics Society
  • Abstract: La notion de « religion civile » provient, on le sait, de Jean-Jacques Rousseau, et elle a été, ces dernières décennies, reprise et réinterprétée par des sociologues et des historiens. En France, il est assez courant d'opposer la « laïcité républicaine » (française) à la religion civile américaine. Cet article propose, au contraire, l'hypothèse que la question de la « religion civile » se situe au coeur de la spécificité de la laïcité française dans sa dimension historique comme dans son actualité. La Cour constitutionnelle italienne considère, depuis 1989, le principe de laïcité comme fondamental ; plusieurs pays (Portugal, Russie) ont inscrit la laïcité dans leur Constitution ; le Québec a explicitement laïcisé ses écoles en 2000, etc. Et, pourtant, la laïcité continue d'apparaître souvent comme une « exception française » Or cette exceptionnalité n'est nullement conforme à la pensée des pères fondateurs de la laïcité française : Ferdinand Buisson, le maître d'oeuvre (au côté de Jules Ferry et de ses successeurs) de la laïcisation de l'école, et Aristide Briand, l'auteur principal de la loi de séparation des Églises et de l'État de 1905, envisageaient la laïcité de façon universaliste et non substantialiste : il existe pour eux des pays plus ou moins laïques, et la France n'est pas le pays le plus laïque du globe.
  • Topic: Civil Society, Government, Religion
  • Political Geography: United States, Europe, France
  • 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: Helena Rosenblatt
  • Publication Date: 12-2007
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: French Politics, Culture Society
  • Institution: Conference Group on French Politics Society
  • Abstract: That French Protestants gave strong support to laïcité is by now well established. Whether this support was due to ideological dispositions within Protestantism or to Protestantism's practical relationship to history can be debated; what cannot be debated is the disproportionate role Protestants played within the Third Republic and among the early proponents of laïcité. In recent work, Patrick Cabanel has even made a compelling case for the Protestant sources of laïcité, placing particular emphasis on the Protestant entourage of Jules Ferry (1832-1893) and stressing the inspiration provided by the pro-Protestant intellectual, Edgar Quinet (1803-1875).
  • Topic: Religion
  • Political Geography: Europe, France
  • Author: Jean-Paul Willaime
  • Publication Date: 12-2007
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: French Politics, Culture Society
  • Institution: Conference Group on French Politics Society
  • Abstract: Strongly marked by the weight of the past, the French approach to State-Religion- Society relations has distinct qualities, and especially a strong confrontational and emotional dimension. This essay address the evolution of these relations and their tensions by focusing on three subjects that make manifest the relationship between politics and religion in important ways, namely, schools, sects, and Islam. The arena of the school is especially significant in three respects: the link between public and private schools; the question of what should be taught about religion, and the display of religious expression by students. The essay considers these matters within the context of wider transformations in religion (secularization) and politics (disenchantment and changes in the state's role in society). It concludes by situating recent developments in the context of globalization and especially Europeanization.
  • Topic: Development, Globalization, Islam
  • Political Geography: Europe, France
  • Author: Kristen Stromberg Childers
  • Publication Date: 06-2006
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: French Politics, Culture Society
  • Institution: Conference Group on French Politics Society
  • Abstract: In late May 2005, French voters resoundingly defeated a proposal to adopt a new constitution for the European Union, voting 55 percent to 45 percent to reject a document in which President Jacques Chirac had invested more than a little of his personal political capital. While there were many reasons cited for this negative vote, one issue that surfaced frequently in discussions of the constitution was the French people's concern for their social security benefits and the fear that "liberal" and "Anglo-Saxon" models of the welfare state might come to dominate the EU and would threaten France's hard-won social rights. Here, of course, "liberal" referred to a model of unrelenting laissez-faire economics, rather than the moniker hurled in contemporary American political debates. It is highly significant that the deathblow to the constitution should come from France, where the EU symbolized for many a chance to regain grandeur on the international scene and an opportunity to counterbalance the "hyperpower" of the United States.
  • Political Geography: United States, Europe, France
  • Author: Gérard Grunberg
  • Publication Date: 12-2005
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: French Politics, Culture Society
  • Institution: Conference Group on French Politics Society
  • Abstract: The 29 May 2005 referendum on the ratification of the European Constitution marks an important date for French political history since the beginning of the Fifth Republic. The widespread victory of the "no" vote requires an interpretation that takes into account the different dimensions of this event. One such dimension is the political context, which played a large role insofar as the referendum took place in a period when the government was particularly unpopular and when, more generally, the political class was suffering from the public's growing distrust. A second and key element was the deep division of the Socialist party, whose leadership was unable to wage a campaign offensive in favor of a "yes" vote. In general, the proponents of the "yes" vote--the major parties of the Right and the Socialist party, as well as the Greens--were incapable of offering voters a truly positive and convincing argument in favor of the Constitution. On the other hand, the proponents of the "no" vote, especially on the Left, succeeded in convincing voters that the social and economic crisis in France (particularly unemployment) was due to "liberal globablization" and that the European Union, far from combatting globalization's effects, was in reality an implicated actor. The campaign played a large role in a context where public opinion wavered right up until the end. The results underscored the massive "no" vote of the working classes, which poses a formidable problem for the principal pro- European parties. The "French no," which will have major repercussions on French political life, brought to an end the process of European political integration as it had developed over the last twenty years.
  • Topic: Globalization
  • Political Geography: Europe, France
  • Author: Daphne Josselin
  • Publication Date: 03-2004
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: French Politics, Culture Society
  • Institution: Conference Group on French Politics Society
  • Abstract: In the mid-1990s, a series of financial crises placed international financial stability and North-South dialogue once again very firmly on the agenda of economic diplomacy. These had long been pet topics for the French: back in the 1960s, President Charles de Gaulle had famously clamoured for the establishment of a new monetary order; the summitry set up, on French initiative, in 1975, had been largely focused on exchange rate stability and North-South relations; in the 1980s, President Mitterrand had made repeated appeals for a "new Bretton Woods." One could therefore expect the French to contribute actively to debates on how best to reform the international financial architecture.
  • Topic: Diplomacy
  • Political Geography: Europe, France
  • Author: Sophie Meunier
  • Publication Date: 03-2003
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: French Politics, Culture Society
  • Institution: Conference Group on French Politics Society
  • Abstract: France has become a worldwide champion of anti-globalization. French intellectuals have long denounced the cultural and economic shortcomings of US-led globalization, while French politicians, on the Left as on the Right, load their speeches with rhetoric critical of a phenomenon that gets a lot less attention in other European countries and in the United States. Yet, at the same time, France is a country whose economy and society have adapted well to this much-criticized globalization. Why this double-speak? Why this disjuncture between words and actions? This article explores this paradox, analyzes the role that France's double discourse on globalization has played in producing the surprising outcome of the 2002 elections, and reflects on the options open to the main political parties today.
  • Topic: Economics
  • Political Geography: United States, Europe, France