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Sébastien Roux and Aurélie Fillod-Chabaud

En avril 2013, au paroxysme des tensions qui entourent l’adoption de la loi Taubira, Frigide Barjot, cheffe de file de la Manif’ pour tous, menace François Hollande de « sang » si la loi pour le mariage homosexuel est adoptée par l’assemblée. Christine Boutin, égérie des catholiques traditionnalistes, parle de « guerre civile » dans des tweets vengeurs. En quelques mois, des centaines de milliers de personnes descendent dans les rues pour manifester et contre-manifester. Moins de quinze ans après l’adoption du Pacs, on invoque à nouveau la République intemporelle et les principes révolutionnaires. On parle, la gorge serrée, de Marianne qu’on trahit. Derrière chaque contrat ou chaque gamète, c’est l’ordre social qui se joue, la République qu’on menace, le symbolique qui tangue… Au début des années 2010, devant les caméras éberluées du monde entier, la France montre à nouveau la place singulière qu’occupent les questions familiales dans le débat public.

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Cécité partielle

Procédure d’adoption et colorblindness institutionnelle en France

Solène Brun

While France is largely considered a “colorblind” society, which hinders any public use of racial categories, this article explores the case of international procedure, arguing that it constitutes an exception to institutional colorblindness in the French context. Racial categories are not only explicitly used on a daily basis by adoption professionals, but their use is also officially encouraged, yet in an ambiguous way. In this regard, adoption procedures operate as a moment of color consciousness for many adoptive parents. By focusing on this particular case study, the article aims more generally to unpack the stakes of the taboo surrounding race in France.

*Full article in French

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In Their Best Interests

Diplomacy, Ethics, and Competition in the French World of Adoption

Sébastien Roux

The international circulation of children requires a multiplicity of interventions. Adoptive flows must respect the ethical standards defined by the Hague Convention (1993) and be realized in the context of a drastic contraction of the migration of children for adoptive purposes. For a dozen years, the French government has been following a partially contradictory double imperative: the moral respect of universal principles enacted by international treaties, and the political maintenance of France among the adoptive “great nations” that are able to favor its nationals. Based on a multi-site field study, this contribution aims to shed light on the architecture, discourse, and actions of these “adoptive public agents.” Drawing on interviews and observations conducted in France and abroad, this article describes how bureaucrats act in practice to create French adoptive families, at the blurred and troubled intersection between the promotion of universal children’s rights and the favoring of French national interests.

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L’adoption internationale

Un facteur d’évolution de la morphologie familiale (1945–1985)

Yves Denéchère

In France, international adoption developed in the 1960s and became an important social phenomenon in the 1980s. During this period, successive regulations led to differences in the ways the interest of the French child and the foreign child were treated. This situation also challenged the established norms of the conjugal family. Adopting a foreign child made it possible to “make a family” differently, and gave French society new forms of the family to consider that both shaped and illustrated the evolution of family morphology. Adoptive families also participated in debates on the concepts of family, kinship, and parenthood, and they helped to make disabled children and so-called “children of color” more accepted.

*Full article in French

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The Olive Grove of Rome

Romanization and the French Colonial Imagination in Nineteenth-Century Tunisia

Jessica Biddlestone

In 1892, the French resident general in Tunisia launched the first state-sponsored colonization effort in the Tunisian protectorate. Based on Paul Bourde’s study of ancient Roman agriculture, the colonization plan explicitly sought to remake Roman prosperity in central Tunisia by fostering the cultivation of olives. Examining Bourde’s study of the ancient past and his work as director of agriculture in Tunisia, this article explores the connections between the study of the Roman Empire and the development of colonialism in North Africa. In tracing this history, this article highlights how the study and use of Roman ruins in French Tunisia inspired an appreciation for the role that technology and material development played in supporting the spread of Roman civilization and culture.

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The Other Children of the French Republic

The Government of Kafala by the Institutions of Adoption

Aurélie Fillod-Chabaud

For several years now, orphaned children have been arriving from Algeria and Morocco for legal collection by families residing on French territory. While most Muslim countries prohibit full adoption, they do allow forms of delegation of parental authority (kafala) that enable abandoned children living in orphanages to be cared for by families. Due to the prohibitive status of adoption in Morocco and Algeria and the fact that France is required to adhere to the regulations of those countries, these children arrive in France without having either the possibility of being naturalized or adopted. This article interrogates the particular reception reserved for these children by French institutions by analyzing the reasons for the kafala system’s relative obscurity within the French field of adoption, the measures deployed by departmental councils to assess candidates for kafala, and, finally, the alternative strategies such families use to adapt to French rule.

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Rapping French Cities in the 1990s

Blurring Marseille and Brightening Paris in Contested Processes of Boundary Making

Joseph Downing

The scholarship on French rap has thus far paid too little attention to social boundary making. This is important given the long-standing sociological importance of territorial boundaries in creating and reenforcing marginalization, especially for ethnic and racial minorities, in French cities. This article highlights the process of boundary making by presenting an analysis of 364 rap tracks from the 1990s. The results demonstrate stark contrasts: 94 percent of Marseille rappers depict boundaries at the city level, while 68 percent of Paris rappers use districts (arrondissements and suburban départements) as the key signifiers of boundary making. Paris rap follows an established pattern of brightening existing socioeconomic and territorial boundaries through lyrics that focus on alienation and marginalization. Rap from Marseille follows a countervailing logic of blurring socioeconomic and territorial boundaries through lyrics that strive to capture a lived, inclusive multiculturalism in the city.

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“The Fourth Reich Is Here”

An Exploration of Populist Depictions of the European Union as a German Plot to Take Over Europe

Julian Pänke

Abstract

The article explores German leadership in Europe as mirrored in national-populist media discourses in Britain, Greece, and Poland. In an effort to discredit the eu as another attempt at German imperialism, accusations of eu institutions being modeled after German blueprints constrain Berlin's ability to achieve effective and legitimate European leadership. By applying role theory, the argument investigates why these ideas and images resonate so well. The article presents three supportive contexts of a German leadership paradox that—together with painful World War II memories—lead to the persistence of certain national-populist discourses. These include (1) Germany's Nazi past; (2) German nation-building, which partly resembles European integration processes; and (3) like the eu, Germany's projection of its interests in terms of normative power (or Zivilmacht), thereby constructing and recognizing respective selfs in “civilizing missions.” This article does not aim to strengthen such populist readings but instead advocates addressing them more openly.

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Imagined Germany and the Battle of Models in South Korea

Rival Narratives of Germany in South Korean Public Spheres, 1990–2015

Jin-Wook Shin and Boyeong Jeong

Abstract

This article explores interpretive practices and discursive arguments that mediate transnational influences. In South Korea, a growth-oriented economy, competitive democracy, and an antagonistic relationship with North Korea developed during the Cold War era under the strong influence of the U.S. and Japan. This study analyzes how Germany—a country that is regarded as an exemplary case for a social market economy, consensus democracy, and successful national reunification—was imagined as a model for reform. By analyzing editorials and opinion articles published in major Korean newspapers, this article investigates the aspects of Germany that Korean elites paid attention to and the narratives that they constructed about Germany. The results show that competing Korean elites produced different German narratives and “German models,” leading to the integration of these competing models into conflicts surrounding South Korea's future.

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Ireneusz Pawel Karolewski, Julian Pänke, and Jochen Roose

Germany's role in Europe and the world is changing fundamentally. For about five decades West Germany's and reunited Germany's position was very much aligned with the European integration project.

Despite its hegemonic potential, Germany defined its role as a partner of the other EU member states. Within the EU framework and globally, it mostly acted jointly with European partners, particularly France. Although Germany's situation altered significantly after unification, it still refrained from exercising its increased power and was rather seeking the role of a “gentle giant.” This was largely the case despite some exceptions, such as the unilateral recognition of Croatian and Slovenian independence in the early 1990s, and criticism that Germany might tend to single-handed foreign policy—the “Alleingang.”