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Racial or Spatial Categorisations?

A Focus on the French Setting

Magali Bessone

The hypothesis developed in the paper is that the relation between race and space, under-explored in philosophy, is a powerful theoretical instrument for understanding racial injustices and can be used to renew racial categorisation in a more critical, transformative manner. It argues that only constructivism, in its 'interactive constructionism' version (Hacking 1999), can make sense of both concepts in a relevant way for political theory, and provide a general critical frame to study the relation between both concepts, thereby replying to the powerful arguments of racial scepticism. After specifying what such a position entails for the 'race' concept, the paper argues that 'space', itself conceived in a constructionist perspective, is a core element of current referents of 'race' in our folk conceptions. It shows that France, despite its pretence of racial blindness, is not a counter-example, but rather reinforces the hypothesis. Hence, space should be more thoroughly reinvestigated at an epistemological and theoretical level in exploring our racial thinking.

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Francesco Maria Scanni and Francesco Compolongo

of the 15M movement, catalysed that nation's crisis of bipolarism with its denunciation of the privilege and corruption in politics and finance ( Caruso 2014 Della Porta et al. 2017a ; Martin 2015 ; Torreblanca 2015 ). Finally, in France ex

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Emmanuel Le Roy Ladurie

The important paper that Pierre Bourdieu has submitted to us is extremely interesting.1 Indeed, while I hope that this paper will not create a precedent, the traditional method by which one or more of us introduce one or other candidate for a Chair, followed by an election in favour of a known colleague and/or a recognised personality, seems to me to be far from optimal. Nonetheless, Pierre Bourdieu, as a sociologist, having taken the effort to examine the field of the historian, and this effort having been extremely enriching for me, I can only be struck tautologically by the quality of his contribution: I wish to respond and to discuss it in detail, and follow our colleague’s and my own train of thought with regard to the introduction of candidates. Perhaps tomorrow at the Collège we shall have, not only, as in this case, history seen by a sociologist, but nuclear physics seen by a biologist or mathematics examined from the Chair of one of our colleagues in medicine. Let there be no doubt that then we would also have, as is the case here, something very exciting for us all. Even so, I must repeat that this method is not the one that I prefer for allocating Chairs and choosing new colleagues.

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Louis-Antoine Saint-Just, Christopher Fotheringham, and Jérémie Barthas

We are publishing here the first modern English translation of the report on police and other matters presented by Louis-Antoine Saint-Just to the National Convention on 15 April 1794. This was his last report: his last appraisal of the history of the French Revolution since 1789, his last analysis of the social and economic consequences of the ongoing fight between revolutionary and counter-revolutionary forces and his last sketch on what still needed to be done to secure the foundations of the young Republic. A few months later, the 10th Thermidor year II of the French Republic (28 July 1794 CE), Saint-Just was guillotined in Paris, Place de la Révolution.

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AIDS, South Africa and the Politics of Knowledge by Jeremy R. Youde Mandisa Mbali

Clausewitz’s Puzzle: The Political Theory of War by Andreas Herberg-Rothe Deane-Peter Baker

History of Madness by Michel Foucault, edited by Jean Khalfa and translated by Jonathan Murphy and Jean Khalfa Roger Deacon

Psychiatric Power: Lectures at the Collège de France, 1973-1974 by Michel Foucault, edited by Jacques Lagrange and translated by Graham Burchell Roger Deacon

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A Political Theology of the Empty Tomb

Christianity and the Return of the Sacred

Roberto Farneti

This article argues a case against the theory of the sacred put forward by the French anthropologist René Girard. In particular, Girard seems to have obliterated one of the tenets of Christian theology, namely, the doctrine of Christ's ascension, in accord with his critical reading of Paul's letter to the Hebrews, which contains a rare emphasis on Christ's departure from the world. This article adopts a 'neo-Hobbesian' perspective in understanding the return of the sacred and fosters a 'political theology of the empty tomb', where the doctrine of Christ's ascension is called upon to again play a major theological role as a workable antidote to the contemporary resurgence of the sacred.

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Christopher J. Paskewich

Which of the regimes of the modern world is the best? The political philosopher Leo Strauss provides a useful context for this issue by weighing the three primary regimes he finds available to modernity: traditional regimes, liberal regimes, and the universal state (in the manner of the French philosopher, Alexandre Kojève). He posits a new cycle of regimes for the modern world, just as Plato and Polybius did for the ancient world. Strauss suggests that the post-Enlightenment tendency is toward a universal state, but he asserts that a highly traditional, but liberal, regime is the most desirable for us.

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Pierre Bourdieu

In my book, The Rules of Art,2 I demonstrated that the intellectual world is an autonomous world within the social world, a microcosm which constituted itself progressively through a series of struggles. In the history of the West, the first to acquire their autonomy with regard to power were the jurists, who in twelfth century Bologna succeeded in asserting their collective independence in relation to the Prince, and, simultaneously, their rivalry amongst themselves. As soon as a field is constituted and asserts its existence, it asserts itself into the internal struggle. It is one of the properties of “fields” that the question of belongingness to this universe is at stake in the very midst of these universes. Suppose that, like a French historian by the name of Viala, one makes a study of the French writers of the seventeenth century: one uncovers lists of writers, one compiles these lists and one undertakes to describe the social characteristics of the writers. In terms of a good positivist method, it is beyond reproach; in fact, I believe that it is a serious error.

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Michel Lallement

In La Barrière et le Niveau (1925), the French philosopher Edmond Goblot applied a logic of quality to the social world. The major thesis which Goblot defended at that time was: having no titles or property, the bourgeois class constructed itself superficially through value judgements, building upon commonly shared appreciations, however intrinsically contradictory they may be. If we accept this logical reading found in La Barrière et le Niveau, then two different types of paralogism, useful for sociological theory, merit consideration: paralogisms of criteria and paralogisms of judgement. When interpreted in this way, Goblot’s work presents a threefold theoretical interest: it associates logic and sociology in an original way; it illustrates the heuristic relevance of a social ontology approach, and it provides a grid of sociocultural analysis of the social classes which is still relevant today.

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Democracy Needs Rebellion

A Democratic Theory Inspired by Albert Camus

Markus Pausch

Democracy has come under pressure in many countries in recent years. Authoritarian tendencies, populism and the cult of leadership threaten pluralistic societies in Europe and other parts of the world. But democracy is more than just a method of finding a majority; it is inextricably linked to the fight against oppression and injustice in all contexts of life. Especially in times of democratic crisis, it is necessary to focus on its core aspects. The political thinking of French philosopher and writer Albert Camus, who died in 1960, offers the basis for a redefinition of democracy that is linked to and dependent on rebellion. From his reflections, a radical theory of democracy can be derived that is based on the absurdity of the world, its incompleteness, revolt and resistance to authoritarianism, on doubt, dialogue and foreignness.