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  • Author: Meredith TenHoor
  • Publication Date: 08-2007
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: French Politics, Culture Society
  • Institution: Conference Group on French Politics Society
  • Abstract: Until 1969, when Paris's wholesale food markets were moved to the Parisian suburb of Rungis, Les Halles, the market district in the center of Paris, fed much of the city's urban population. Les Halles was not simply a place where food was bought and sold, but also a highly visible and symbolically charged node of communication between the countryside, the state, and the bodies of Parisian citizens. Due to its centrality and visibility, Les Halles came under enormous pressure to physically symbolize the state's relationship to the “market.” In turn, the architecture of the markets at Les Halles came to stand in for the powers of the state to organize a flow of goods from farm to body. From the 1763 construction of the Halle au blé, to the 1851 ground-breaking on Victor Baltard's iron and glass market pavilions, to the construction of the Centre Pompidou and the Forum des Halles in the 1970s and 1980s, the markets at Les Halles were regularly redesigned and rebuilt to accommodate and/or produce shifting notions of architectural, social, and financial order.
  • Topic: Communications
  • Political Geography: Paris
  • Author: Thierry Baudouin, Michèle Collin
  • Publication Date: 08-2007
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: French Politics, Culture Society
  • Institution: Conference Group on French Politics Society
  • Abstract: During the Fordist period, the state transformed the historic site of Les Halles, in the heart of Paris, into the agglomeration's chief mass transit gateway. Efforts to make the site into a veritable tool of social, cultural, and economic metropolitan development are struggling because of governmental modalities that remain very marked by centralism. A majority of citizens, notably those living in suburban Paris, actively stake a claim to this metropolitan dimension and to the rich possibilities of this tool. The article principally analyzes the territorializing practices of suburban youths, whose multiple subjectivities are still poorly integrated into the site. Les Halles thus reveals the question of the correspondence of these establishing metropolitan practices to the reality of the centralized institutions around Paris intramuros.
  • Political Geography: Paris
  • Author: Pierre Diméglio, Jodelle Zetlaoui-Léger
  • Publication Date: 08-2007
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: French Politics, Culture Society
  • Institution: Conference Group on French Politics Society
  • Abstract: While Mayor Bertrand Delanoë had omitted the renovation of Les Halles in his plans for the city in his 2001 inaugural address, in 2002, at the urging of the RATP and Espace Expansion, he decided to create a working group to undertake this project during his tenure. Having made citizen participation a new goal for local government, he also announced that the project would be undertaken with Parisians, especially local associations. The first part of this article emphasizes the different postures that elected politicians, engineers, and experts have adopted over the course of forty years vis-à-vis the question of citizen participation in urban planning. The second part explores the decision- making process for the Les Halles renovation over the last four years; it considers the issues and difficulties linked to the implementation of participatory plans incorporating residents––whether they are members of local groups or not––in complex urban planning projects.
  • Topic: Government
  • Political Geography: Paris
  • Author: Jeffrey H. Jackson
  • Publication Date: 06-2006
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: French Politics, Culture Society
  • Institution: Conference Group on French Politics Society
  • Abstract: By the 1920s, the physical transformation in the urban space of Montmartre led two groups of artists to "secede" from the city of Paris, at least in spirit. Calling themselves the Commune Libre de Montmartre and the République de Montmartre, these painters, illustrators, poets, writers, and musicians articulated a distinctive community-based identity centered around mutual aid, sociability, and limiting urban development. They also reached out to the poor of the neighborhood through charity efforts, thus linking their fates with those of other area residents. Through these organizations, neighborhood artists came to terms with the changes taking place in the city of Paris in the 1920s by navigating between nostalgia and modernism. They sought to keep alive an older vision of the artists' Montmartre while adapting to the new conditions of the post-World War I city.
  • Topic: War
  • Political Geography: Paris, France
  • Author: Herman Lebovics
  • Publication Date: 12-2006
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: French Politics, Culture Society
  • Institution: Conference Group on French Politics Society
  • Abstract: Designed by Jean Nouvel, the Musée du Quai Branly, the just-opened museum of African, Amerindian, Pacific, and Asian cultures, covers a city block on the Left Bank of Paris's museum row. Both in landscaping and internal layout, Nouvel wished to frame the building within his understanding of the cultures on display inside, but also within its setting in the metropolitan capital. Objects collected in the imperial age now are displayed in what French officials see as the postcolonial era. But how were the pieces on display to be shown: as works of art or well-made cultural artifacts? Nouvel took the lead in evoking a vision of the cultures on display that is closer to Joseph Conrad's dark tales than to enlightened contemporary scholarship and museology on these societies. Neither an art nor an ethnography museum, the Musée du Quai Branly is a spectacle about the societies of the global South.
  • Political Geography: Africa, Paris, Asia
  • Author: Joshua Cole
  • Publication Date: 09-2003
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: French Politics, Culture Society
  • Institution: Conference Group on French Politics Society
  • Abstract: In October 1961, an as yet undetermined number of Algerian protesters were killed by the police in Paris while demonstrating for Algerian independence. In the last two decades, these killings have become the focal point of a public controversy in France, as questions about the memory of the Algerian war converged with debates about immigration and citizenship in the 1980s and 1990s and with the willingness of the French state to confront the crimes committed during the last phase of decolonization between 1945 and 1962. Most commentaries have emphasized the connections of this debate with an earlier bout of French soul-searching over the question of the Vichy government's collaboration with Germany during World War II. This connection seemed all the more relevant when the man who was the prefect of police in Paris in 1961, Maurice Papon, was accused and eventually convicted of assisting in the deportation of Jews from Bordeaux in 1942-1944. This article argues that the public attention to the connections between Maurice Papon and the Holocaust have obscured the extent to which the debate in France about October 1961 has been driven by developments in Algerian politics in the last four decades. The extent to which historical accounts of the events of October 1961 are shaped by very contemporary political concerns presents particular challenges to the historian, who must find a way of retelling the story without merely reproducing the ideological conflict that produced the violence in the first place.
  • Topic: War
  • Political Geography: Paris, France, Germany, Algeria
  • Author: Brigitte Jelen
  • Publication Date: 03-2002
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: French Politics, Culture Society
  • Institution: Conference Group on French Politics Society
  • Abstract: A few months ago, the massacre of Algerian civilians by the French police on October 17, 1961 was finally officially recognized, as the new socialist mayor of Paris, Bertrand Delanoë, placed a commemorative plaque on the Pont Saint-Michel. In his declaration to the press, Delanoë was careful to focus on the "Parisian" character of this ceremony, although the 1961 massacre was committed by the French national police. Perhaps Delanoë's noble and courageous gesture hides an ambiguity, an injustice to the victims? In order to understand the symbolic importance of this plaque in the construction of France's official memory of the Algerian war, this essay analyzes how the French government since 1962 has attempted to "forget" the conflict in the name of "national unity," in particular through the use of amnesty laws. In a discussion on forgiveness inspired by J. Derrida, the possibility of a French national memory of the Algerian war (and of the October 17, 1961 event) that would include the voices of the victims is considered.
  • Topic: Government
  • Political Geography: Paris, France
  • Author: Daniel Sabbagh
  • Publication Date: 09-2002
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: French Politics, Culture Society
  • Institution: Conference Group on French Politics Society
  • Abstract: Unlike in the United States, in France, the main operational criterion for identifying the beneficiaries of affirmative action policies is not race or gender, but geographical location. In this respect, the first affirmative action plan recently designed in the sphere of higher education by one of France's most famous 'grandes écoles', the Institut d'études politiques de Paris, while not departing significantly from this broader pattern of redistributive, territory-based public policies, has given rise to a controversy of an unprecedented scale, some features of which may actually suggest the existence of a deeper similarity between French and American affirmative action programs and the difficulties that they face. That similarity lies in the attempts made by the supporters of such programs to systematically minimize the negative side-effects on their beneficiaries' public image potentially induced by the visibility of the policy itself.
  • Topic: Education
  • Political Geography: United States, America, Paris, France
  • Author: Paul Jankowski
  • Publication Date: 03-2001
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: French Politics, Culture Society
  • Institution: Conference Group on French Politics Society
  • Abstract: Méry de Paris places the scandal that erupted in Paris last autumn in historical perspective. It examines the system of political financing that Méry's "confession" revealed, as well the threat it posed to President Chirac, in the light of corruption scandals in French history since the Revolution. The article explores the structural roots of recent and distant corruption and the widely differing political consequences its revelation can bring, and thus seeks to ask whether today's scandals differ from those of yesterday, and if so, how. Forum: La Guerre des écrivains (1940-1953), Gisèle Sapiro (Paris : Fayard, 1999)
  • Political Geography: Paris
  • Author: Michael J. Piore
  • Publication Date: 09-2000
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: French Politics, Culture Society
  • Institution: Conference Group on French Politics Society
  • Abstract: This is a big, ambitious book with an intricate, engaging, and important argument. I picked it up in Paris in January and read it on the flight home. It made me happy to be an intellectual and a scholar; happy to be able to read French; happy, for the first time I can remember, to have seven and a half hours of uninterrupted time on a transatlantic flight. The book poses the question of why an active critique of capitalism has virtually disappeared in our times. The answer it provides is that capitalism itself has changed in ways that evade the criticisms that had been directed against it in the past. But it argues that these changes themselves are giving rise to a new moral framework from which a new critical perspective is emerging, and attempts to identify what that perspective is.
  • Political Geography: Paris