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  • Author: Michèle Lamont
  • Publication Date: 03-2001
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: French Politics, Culture Society
  • Institution: Conference Group on French Politics Society
  • Abstract: This essay revisits the question of French racism by examining the differing status of North African immigrants and blacks as victims of French racism. I draw on in-depth interviews with French workers and on national surveys to show that French workers draw stronger boundaries toward immigrants—and more specifically North African immigrants—than toward blacks. I advance an explanation for the lower salience of this latter group that takes into consideration the cultural resources that workers have access to and to the structural and historical context in which they live. In particular, I suggest that because it is based on assimilation, the French political culture of Republicanism provides special ammunition for arguments against North Africans: It presumes (and aims to achieve) a national community with overlapping cultural and political boundaries, such that all members of the national community share the same political culture, which de facto distinguishes the national in-group from out-groups. At the same time, this widely available ideology weakens the boundaries drawn against blacks by affirming the principle of color blindness and the irrelevance of ascribed characteristics in the French polity.
  • Topic: Immigration
  • Political Geography: North Africa
  • Author: Philip H. Gordon, Sophie Meunier
  • Publication Date: 03-2001
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: French Politics, Culture Society
  • Institution: Conference Group on French Politics Society
  • Abstract: Concerns about the potentially negative effects of globalization are particularly salient in France because of France's longstanding desire to maintain a universal culture and concomitant fear of cultural domination. This article analyzes the impact of globalization on various aspects of French culture-including the entertainment industry (movies, audiovisuals, and books), food, and language-and shows why the French resist globalization more on cultural than economic grounds. The article also looks at French policy responses to the cultural "threat" of globalization and argues that those policies are both less effective and less necessary than many French seem to think.
  • Topic: Economics, Globalization
  • Political Geography: France
  • Author: Éric Dupin
  • Publication Date: 03-2001
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: French Politics, Culture Society
  • Institution: Conference Group on French Politics Society
  • Abstract: This article examines why political corruption has become not only more visible in the past twenty years in France, but also more serious as a problem. After looking briefly at changes in the role of the judiciary and the media, the author focuses on issues of campaign finance and the economic insecurities electoral officials often face in the current political system. Psychological factors have mattered as well. Too many members of the political elite have assumed that political power entitled them to material advantages and exemption from conventional standards of ethical conduct. The concentration of power and weak boundaries between political, economic, and administrative elites have made the problem particularly acute in France.
  • Topic: Economics
  • Political Geography: France
9554. Réponse
  • Author: Gisèle Sapiro
  • Publication Date: 03-2001
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: French Politics, Culture Society
  • Institution: Conference Group on French Politics Society
  • Abstract: Comprendre les conduites politiques des écrivains français pendant l'occupation allemande à la lumière des logiques propres au monde des lettres, tel était l'objet de ma recherche. Ce questionnement s'inscrivait à la fois contre la logique du jugement et du procès qui l'a longtemps emporté sur l'analyse distanciée, comme le rappelle Steven Ungar, et contre une histoire politique des intellectuels qui tendait à négliger les facteurs non politiques de leur engagement, en particulier ceux qui relèvent plus spécifiquement de leur activité professionnelle. Ces deux tendances illustrent les effets induits par la surpolitisation de ces années de guerre sur la perception rétrospective qu'on en a. Certes, la surpolitisation de tous les domaines de l'existence pendant l'Occupation est un fait indéniable qui a des conséquences immédiates en ce qu'il modifie l'espace des possibles et les contraintes qui pèsent sur les individus, ainsi que la signification sociale des comportements (des comportements apolitiques peuvent ainsi prendre un sens politique indépendamment du sens que leur donnent les acteurs). Mais cela n'implique pas que les motivations ou les logiques d'action ressortissent au seul registre politique.
  • Publication Date: 03-2001
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: French Politics, Culture Society
  • Institution: Conference Group on French Politics Society
  • Abstract: Although political corruption in France is hardly new, only at the end of the twentieth century have public authorities made important efforts to address it. This article explains why, stressing underlying economic conditions in the 1980s and 1990s and changes in the composition and norms in the judicial, police, and administrative professions. The author goes on to argue that despite the publicity given to recent scandals, the attack on corruption remains restrained and politicians of both the Left and the Right remain ambivalent about facing the problem.
  • Topic: Economics
  • Political Geography: 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: Laurent Jeanpierre
  • Publication Date: 03-2001
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: French Politics, Culture Society
  • Institution: Conference Group on French Politics Society
  • Abstract: Disons-le d'emblée : l'ouvrage de Gisèle Sapiro est impressionnant. Issu d'une thèse de sociologie dirigée par Pierre Bourdieu1, il s'imposera comme une référence. Il intègre un ensemble de travaux qui se sont penchés depuis une vingtaine d'années sur les lettres françaises pendant la guerre et inclut de nombreuses archives inédites. Il représente un des accomplissements récents les plus aboutis en matière de sociologie historique des intellectuels.
  • Author: Steven Ungar
  • Publication Date: 03-2001
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: French Politics, Culture Society
  • Institution: Conference Group on French Politics Society
  • Abstract: Henry Rousso's The Vichy Syndrome (1987) has changed the way many people think and write about France since 1940. Yet it is likely that the term "syndrome" (from the Greek sundromos or "running together") in his title remains a provocation because it invokes a pattern of behavior linked to disease and abnormality By extension, it conveyed an implied accusation—perhaps even an indictment—concerning an inability on the part of France as nation and society to confront the nature of the 1940-1944 period. Among historians, debate on the data or evidence that the concept of syndrome might legitimize or even privilege with regard to the writing of history added to questions about what had prompted Rousso to level this critique against colleagues in the discipline.
  • Political Geography: France
  • Author: Pierre H. Boulle
  • Publication Date: 03-2001
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: French Politics, Culture Society
  • Institution: Conference Group on French Politics Society
  • Abstract: The concept of an emerging modern political culture, developed in the eighteenth century and informing the struggles associated with 1789, has taken root in historical discourse. It offers what to some is the significant advantage of permitting the analysis of values which were once associated with a rising bourgeoisie—principles of individual liberty and rights, of merit, and free labor against group privileges, birth, and corporate rights— without necessarily tying these to a particular social group.2 The two works reviewed here, both the result of recent American Ph.D. dissertations, borrow the concept as an organizing principle, but, interestingly, focus on a major contradiction within that culture: the conflict between slavery, dominant in the colonies and spreading to France itself in the eighteenth century, and the new culture's core concepts of individual freedom and free labor. Sue Peabody studies the various court cases in which slaves in eighteenth-century France sought to obtain their freedom. Laurent Dubois, using a 1793 local slave rebellion in Trois-Rivières, Guadeloupe, attempts to demonstrate that the slaves used the emerging political culture proclaimed from France to fashion freedom for themselves. Both argue that, far from being peripheral issues, events related to colonial labor helped fashion the debate in France and, indeed, forced its radicalization.
  • Political Geography: France
  • Author: Robert Schwartzwald
  • Publication Date: 03-2001
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: French Politics, Culture Society
  • Institution: Conference Group on French Politics Society
  • Abstract: It may come as a surprise to American readers that during the Second World War, both the Vichy regime and la France libre cared deeply about public opinion in French Canada. Yet resource-rich Canada was Britain's principal ally against Nazi Germany before the collapse of the Hitler-Stalin pact and the attack on Pearl Harbor. If public opinion in English-speaking Canada rallied immediately behind Great Britain and was solidly interventionist, this was not the case in Quebec. In his study, Montreal historian Eric Amyot demonstrates that the opposing French camps well understood the necessity of waging a war for public opinion in the largely French-speaking province. At stake were Canadian government policy and the respective claims for legitimacy of Vichy and la France libre both at home and on the world stage.
  • Topic: Government
  • Political Geography: Britain, France