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Book Reviews

Alexander Dilger, Christopher Thomas Goodwin, George Gibson, Michelle Lynn Kahn, Randall Newnham, Christopher Thomas Goodwin, and Stephen F. Szabo

Mark K. Cassell, Banking on the State: The Political Economy of Public Savings Banks (Newcastle upon Tyne: Agenda Publishing, 2021).

Bryce Sait, The Indoctrination of the Wehrmacht: Nazi Ideology and the War Crimes of the German Military (New York: Berghahn Books, 2019).

Frank Bösch, ed., A History Shared and Divided: East and West Germany since the 1970s (New York: Berghahn Books, 2018).

Christopher A. Molnar, Memory, Politics, and Yugoslav Migrations to Postwar Germany (Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 2018).

Eva Noack-Mosse, Last Days of Theresienstadt, trans. Skye Doney and Birutė Ciplijauskaitė (Madison: University of Wisconsin Press, 2018).

Michael H. Kater, Culture in Nazi Germany (New Haven, CT: Yale University Press, 2019).

Rolf Steininger, Germany and the Middle East: From Kaiser Wilhelm II to Angela Merkel (New York: Berghahn Books, 2019).

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Corps et blanchité au prisme de la Blackness

Body and Whiteness Through the Lens of Blackness

Sarah Fila-Bakabadio

Abstract

This article examines Whiteness from the perspective of the concept of Blackness and the production of Black gazes upon Whiteness. The goal is neither to reverse old schemes nor to establish a new asymmetric duality, but to come back to the first space in which political, social, and visual dynamics are formed—the body. In doing so, the article shows that the notions and tools developed by Blackness Studies and Critical Race Theories enable the analysis of the role of corporeality in the joint construction of Whiteness and Blackness.

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German State Constitutional Courts

The Justices

Werner Reutter

Abstract

The article shows that two constitutional principles govern the election of justices and the composition of the 16 German state constitutional courts: democracy and the separation of powers. The recruitment of candidates, the vote on nominees in state parliaments, and the composition of benches of the courts in question support this assumption. There is no evidence indicating that a partisan takeover of German state constitutional courts has taken place. In addition, the majorities required for an appointment of justices of state constitutional courts seem less crucial than is often assumed.

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Germany's Energiewende at a Crossroads

Jonas Heering and Thane Gustafson

Abstract

This article examines Germany's current climate and energy policies. Nearly two decades on, Germany's Energiewende—the transition to a less carbon-intensive economy—is at a crossroads. While remarkable advances have been made, the technical difficulties of expanding the energy transition beyond the electricity sector, the mounting costs of the transition itself, and now the covid-19 pandemic are slowing further progress. Maintaining the momentum of the Energiewende would require collaborative action, yet the principal political players have different agendas, making it difficult to reach decisions. In this article, we consider three of those actors: the German public, the opposition parties, and the government. We find that agreements on German climate policy have been diluted in political compromises and that real progress is being blocked. These problems will only increase as Germany deals with the consequences of the pandemic and faces a transition in national leadership in 2021.

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Introduction

A White Republic? Whites and Whiteness in France

Mathilde Cohen and Sarah Mazouz

Abstract

France is an overwhelmingly majority-White nation. Yet the French majority is reluctant to identify as White, and French social science has tended to eschew Whiteness as an object of inquiry. Inspired by critical race theory and critical Whiteness studies, this interdisciplinary special issue offers a new look at White identities in France. It does so not to recenter Whiteness by giving it prominence, but to expose and critique White dominance. This introduction examines the global and local dimensions of Whiteness, before identifying three salient dimensions of its French version: the ideology of the race-blind universalist republic; the past and present practice of French colonialism, slavery, and rule across overseas territories; and the racialization of people of Muslim or North African backgrounds as non-White.

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The Legal Construction of the Notion of Anti-White Racism in France

Mathias Möschel

Abstract

This article focuses on the legal construction of the notion of anti-White racism in France. By analyzing cases litigated under criminal law, it describes how a right-wing NGO has been promoting this notion via a litigation strategy since the late 1980s, initially with only limited success. Public debates in mainstream media in the 2000s and intervention by more traditional antiracist NGOs in courts have since contributed to a creeping acceptance of anti-White racism both within courtrooms and in broader public discourse. This increased recognition of anti-White racism is highly problematic from a critical race and critical Whiteness perspective.

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Maneuvering Whiteness in France

Muslim Converts’ Ambivalent Encounters with Race

Juliette Galonnier

Abstract

This article examines the meanings of Whiteness in France by focusing on the specific case of White converts to Islam. By becoming Muslim, converts enter religious spaces in which they are a numerical minority. Usually unmarked and unnoticed, their Whiteness is now very much visible, prompting interrogations about their racial categorization. Faced with moral dilemmas on how to best position themselves ethically while holding a position of dominance, White converts to Islam resort to a variety of strategies to portray themselves as “good Muslims” and “good Whites.” Relying on ethnography and in-depth interviewing, this article explores the contradictions, inconsistencies, and ambivalences that characterize White identities in the French context.

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Mass-Market Paperbacks and Integration Politics

Johanna Schuster-Craig

Abstract

“Integration” refers to multiple arenas in German migration politics, including journalistic discourse, public policy, and cultural logics about incorporating immigrants and refugees into the nation. This article examines two non-fiction narratives, Das Ende der Geduld by Kirsten Heisig and Muslim Girls by Sineb El Masrar, to explore how each author characterizes integration from opposite sides of the political spectrum. In integration politics, adolescence is often construed as a problem, which—when improperly managed—leads to the criminalization or radicalization of youth of color. Comparative analysis of these two texts shows that institutions such as the school and the criminal justice system produce adolescence as a problem for integration and as a way to avoid acknowledging institutionalized inequity. These two examples exist as part of a longer genealogy of authors using mass-market paperbacks to comment on integration politics.

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Memories of Migration

Commemoration, Contestation, and Migrant Integration in the United Kingdom and Germany

Barbara Laubenthal and Kevin Myers

Abstract

Based on key concepts of memory studies, this article investigates how immigration is remembered in two different societies: the United Kingdom and Germany. Starting from the assumption that social remembering has the potential to encourage the integration of migrants, we analyze in several case studies how civil society organizations and government actors remember historical immigration processes and how the immigrant past is reflected in popular culture. Our analysis shows that both countries have several factors in common with regard to the role of immigration in collective memory. A common feature is the marginal status accorded to migration and, when it is remembered, the highly restricted role offered to immigrants. However, our studies also reveal that memory can become an important mode for the integration of migrants if it is used as a form of political activism and if organizations proactively use the past to make demands for the incorporation of immigrants.

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“White” Guadeloupeans of “Mixed” Ancestry

Complicating Analyses of Whiteness and White Supremacy

Ary Gordien

Abstract

This article explores the various ways in which Guadeloupeans of mixed African and European ancestry who are perceived as White self-identify in relation to their family and individual trajectories. This partial analysis is based on half-dozen semistructured interviews carried out in the course of researching nationalism, race, and ethnicity in Guadeloupe. Complicating rigid definitions of Whiteness and White supremacy, this article interprets the intricate meanings of Whiteness in the specific context of Guadeloupe, and its complex articulation with material and symbolic privilege.