As seen from France, World War I was first and foremost a matter of transporting men who had to be brought en masse to the front. This article describes the first departures and analyzes the sentiments they elicited: sadness, resignation, fear. Men climbed into the trains and went off to war: these first voyages were followed by countless others that bore little resemblance to those of August 1914. Wounded, exhausted, discouraged, and occasionally rebellious, soldiers passed through the railway stations, which had become the heart and soul of the country. In the towns, fear spread as supplies began to be scarce and living conditions deteriorated. Life unfolded to the rhythm of the passing trains until, at the end and in the aftermath of the war, other train cars arrived bearing those who had died.
Over the past two decades, historical studies of France's colonies in the Maghrib have deepened our knowledge of the meaning of colonialism and its myriad legacies in the colonies and metropole. By employing new methodologies, adopting new
Virtuous Racism and the War of the Sexes in Postcolonial France
Twentieth-century France invented for itself an "exception" that successfully preserved the French culture industry. Postcolonial France is experiencing another "French exception" that renders a "virtuous racism" commonplace and legitimates the discrimination that expresses this racism by identifying the undesirable "new French" as scapegoat figures. Four gender-specific stereotypes strengthen the belief that there is a form of sexism exclusive to the segregated neighborhoods of the suburbs that are inhabited primarily by French people of immigrant and colonial descent. Associated with the central figure of the garçon arabe are the beurette, the veiled Muslim French woman, and the secular Muslim. The article argues that the model of abstract, universalist France has become one of a fundamentalist republicanism that plays diverse expressions of otherness and singular identities off of one another in order to preserve a soft regime of oppression.
*Full article is in French
English abstract: The preservation of wetland ecosystem services has become a real issue for public policies. This article considers the question from the point of view of the provisioning and maintenance of a public good. It examines the production conditions and welfare savings involved when the value of ecosystem services is taken into account. The analysis shows that doing so can enable losers to be compensated and a net social surplus to be obtained. The study applies this approach to the estuarine wetland of Gironde, France, by studying the Associations Syndicales de Propriétaires (ASPs), the production units of ecosystem services. The article first describes the emergence of this type of organization, and then it uses a sample of them (20 out of 53), to analyze their investments and maintenance costs. It shows the likely presence of economies of scale and the very interesting results of ASPs in terms of low costs.
Spanish abstract: La conservación de servicios ecosistémicos derivados de las zonas húmedas (humedales), se ha convertido en un tema relevante para las políticas públicas. Este artículo considera esta cuestión desde el punto de vista del abastecimiento y del mantenimiento de un bien colectivo. El autor examina las condiciones de la producción y las ganancias en bienestar implicadas cuando el valor de los servicios ecosistémicos se toma en cuenta. En el texto se muestra que la consideración de estos valores permite compensar las pérdidas y asegurar una ganancia neta. El autor aplica este enfoque a los humedales del estuario de la Gironde, Francia, a traves del estudio de las unidades de producción de servicios ecosistémicos también conocidas como Asociaciones Sindicales de Propietarios (ASP). Este trabajo describe en primer lugar la emergencia de este tipo de organización, y después selecciona una muestra de ellos (20 de 53 ASP), para analizar sus costos de inversiones y mantenimiento. El artículo muestra la probable presencia de economías de escala y el interesante desempeño de las ASP en función de bajos costos.
French abstract: La préservation des services écosystémiques délivrés par les zones humides mobilise les politiques publiques. Nous considérons la question sous l'angle de la fourniture et de la maintenance d'un bien collectif. Nous examinons les conditions de la production et les gains en bien-être associés à la prise en compte de la valeur de ces services d'origine écosystémique. On montre notamment que cette prise en considération conduit à des situations qui permettent de compenser les perdants et d'assurer un gain net. Dans le cas des marais estuariens de la Gironde, nous nous attachons à l'étude des unités de production de ces services que sont les Associations syndicales de propriétaires (ASP). Nous rendons compte de l'émergence de cette forme d'organisation et analysons à partir d'un échantillon de 20 ASP - sur les 53 recensées dans la zone d'étude - les coûts de maintenance et d'investissement. Nous montrons la probable présence d'économies d'échelle et les intéressantes performances en termes de coût des ASP.
A White Republic? Whites and Whiteness in France
Mathilde Cohen and Sarah Mazouz
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.
from different African countries to Europe and to France in particular. By focusing on a specific mobility system (aeromobility) from the perspective of a specific mobile subjectivity (the African student newcomer), my analysis emphasizes that “mobile
Abbé Rousseau and the Meanings of Suicide
individuals who ended their own lives, than in France, where licensed journals avoided the subject of suicide and a modest number of notes found their way into the police archives. 5 This article is intended not to locate Rousseau’s note within a larger
“All history is contemporary history,” observed Benedetto Croce. Work on the French Revolution has often proven his insight.* In today’s globalizing climate, it is worth examining French revolutionary historians’ uneven embrace of the current historiographic trend toward transnational approaches. On one hand, scholarship has been comparatively slow to take this turn for several reasons, notably the persistent belief in the centrality of the nation. The revolutionaries themselves built claims of French exceptionalism into their construction of universalism, and historians have inherited the strong sense that the Revolution held particular power and played an integral role in constructing French national identity.
The most common perception of France found these days in the American media is that of an arrogant country, whose international gesticulations are the last hurrah masking its inevitable decline into oblivion. The French have not yet come to terms with their lengthy collapse, which started with the devastation of World War I, continued with the humiliation of their defeat in 1940 and was furthered by the loss of their colonial empire. This would explain their support, still to this day, for a Gaullist policy made up of power incantations, in contrast to real power—or lack thereof. Of course, this characterization is meant as much as an insult as an objective statement of fact. What few of these American commentators comprehend, however, is how much this image of a nation blinded by self-confidence is erroneous. On the contrary, the French have excelled at self-flagellation for a long time, rightly or wrongly. Whether one calls it “malaise” or decline, French commentators are the first to confess that France is free-falling—whether vis-à-vis the US, its European partners, or its own aspirations.
Entre Laïcité Républicaine et Multiculturelle
In December 2003, the Stasi Commission, appointed by the President of France, recommended prohibiting public school students from wearing conspicuous religious symbols or apparel. This recommendation was quickly enacted, becoming the Law of 15 March 2004. This law is meant to be an application of the "principle of laïcité," which is part of the French Constitution. The law speaks in terms of a general prohibition, but in fact essentially targets the wearing of the headscarf by young Muslims, a practice that had been permitted in French schools since late 1989. The present article attempts to explain the particular conditions within which the problem arose in France and to render an account of the work of the Stasi Commission, of which the author was a member. In conclusion, the article offers a critical evaluation of the effects of the law.