This paper explores the rights-based cosmopolitanism of French anti-GM activists and their challenge to the neoliberal cosmopolitanism of the World Trade Organization and multinational corporations. Activists argue that genetic modification, patents, and WTO-brokered free trade agreements are the means by which multinationals deny people fundamental rights and seek to dominate global agriculture. Through forms of protest, which include cutting down field trials of genetically modified crops, activists resist this agenda of domination and champion the rights of farmers and nations to opt out of the global agricultural model promoted by biotechnology companies. In so doing, they defend the local. This defense, however, is based on a cosmopolitan discourse of fundamental rights and the common good. I argue that activists' cosmopolitan perspective does not transcend the local but is intimately related to a particular understanding of it.
Is France still relevant? Asking this provocative question in honor of the late Stanley Hoffmann’s lifelong commitment to French studies, I examine the contemporary role of France in international affairs, in Europe, and in globalization. The article then analyzes the structural reasons for these shifts in relevance, as well as the possible political openings to break from the “stalemate society”, including the emergence of new “artists in politics”. I conclude by reflecting on how the current uncertain state of the world, which may be on the cusp of a tectonic shift precipitated by the advent of Donald Trump in the United States and the resurgence of nationalism in Europe, is both challenging what is left of France’s international relevance and providing it with renewed opportunities to play a meaningful role under the presidency of young, pro-European Emmanuel Macron.
Frédéric Martel, The Pink and the Black: Homosexuals in France since 1968, trans. Jane Marie Todd (Stanford: Stanford University Press, 1999); Le Rose et le noir: les homosexuels en France depuis 1968, 2nd edition, revised and enlarged (Paris: Seuil, 2000).
Florence Tamagne, Histoire de l’homosexualité en Europe: Berlin, Londres, Paris 1919-1939 (Paris: Seuil, 2000).
Carolyn J. Dean, The Frail Social Body: Pornography, Homosexuality, and Other Fantasies in Interwar France (Berkeley: University of California Press, 2000).
Daniel Borrillo, Eric Fassin, and Marcela Iacub, eds., Au-delà du PaCS: l’expertise familiale à l’épreuve de l’homosexualité, (Paris: Presses Universitaire de France, 1999).
Louis-Georges Tin and Geneviève Pastre, eds., Homosexualités: expression/répression, (Paris: Stock, 2000).
A Generation in the Making
In the spring of 2000, the Financial Times eagerly predicted that the world would be piloted by a new global generation of managers who, having been educated at business schools, share similar ideas and values.1 To this generation belong managers in start-up companies that provide goods and services online. These e-managers work with and on the Internet, which reaches worldwide instantly and redefines our concepts of time and place. Since emanagers have the whole world as their “playground,” they are likely to replace traditional nation-based feelings of belonging with new values and identities. French magazines went even further than the Financial Times, stating that since e-managers speak English and have adopted the American way of doing business, they would eventually Americanize French society.2 Or, rather, e-managers would turn France into a society that mirrored the stereotypes of American society that have been prevalent in France.
Why do the French appear as incorrigible anti-Americans? Why is France singled out as a bastion of systematic opposition to US policies? Anti-Americanism can be defined as an unfavorable predisposition towards the United States, which leads individuals to interpret American actions through pre-existing views and negative stereotypes, irrespectively of the facts. It is based on a belief that there is something fundamentally wrong at the essence of what is America. This unfavorable predisposition manifests itself in beliefs, attitudes and rhetoric, which may or may not affect political behavior. Is France, according to this definition, anti-American? It is difficult in practice to distinguish between genuine anti-Americanism (disposition) and genuine criticism of the United States (opinion). It is partly because of this definitional ambiguity that France appears more anti-American than its European partners. While it is not clear that the French have a stronger negative predisposition against the US, they do have stronger opinions about America for at least three main reasons: the deep reservoir of anti-American arguments accumulated over the centuries; the simultaneous coexistence of a variety of types of anti-Americanism; and the costless ways in which anti-Americanism has been used for political benefit. This article explores each of these three features in turn, before discussing briefly the consequences of French anti-Americanism on world politics.
*Full article is in French
English abstract: The Western Bug is one of the major border rivers in Central and Eastern Europe. It is the border between Poland and Ukraine and between Poland and Belarus, but at the same time it is one of the European Union's external borders. Despite this particular position and a certain number of political, legal, economic and human barriers, cross-border cooperation is improving in order to preserve water resources and promote better management. This article illustrates the main steps that lead to this cooperation and seeks to analyze whether it will be possible to set up common management of the Bug river basin.
Spanish abstract: El Bug occidental es uno de los ríos más importante en Europa central y oriental ya que sirve como límite entre Polonia y Ucrania, Polonia y Bielorusia, y como frontera externa a la Unión Europea. A pesar de esta situación particular y de los numerosos obstáculos que superar (políticos, jurídicos, económicos y humanos), la cooperación transfronteriza avanza para preservar el recurso agua y gestionar mejor la cuenca hidrográfica del Bug. El artículo presenta las principales etapas de esta cooperación, las medidas implementadas y, analizando los principales obstáculos al establecimiento de una política común, se interroga sobre la posibilidad de una gestión conjunta en la cuenca del Bug.
French abstract: Le Bug occidental est une des principales rivières frontières en Europe centrale et orientale. Elle sert non seulement de limite entre la Pologne et l'Ukraine, la Pologne et la Biélorussie, mais aussi de frontière externe à l'Union européenne. Malgré cette position particulière et les nombreux obstacles à surmonter (politique, juridique, économique et humain), la coopération transfrontalière progresse en vue de préserver la ressource en eau et de mieux gérer le bassin hydrographique du Bug. L'article présente les principales étapes de cette coopération, les moyens mis en œuvre et s'interroge sur la possibilité de gérer en commun le bassin du Bug en analysant les principaux obstacles à la mise en place d'une politique commune.
Toward an Explanation of Inconsistencies between Framing and Policies
Henri Bergeron, Patrick Castel and Abigail C. Saguy
The French news media has framed “obesity” largely as a product of corporate greed and social inequality. Yet, France has—like other nations including the United States—adopted policies that focus on changing individual-level behavior. This article identifies several factors—including food industry lobbying, the Ministry of Agriculture’s rivalry with the Ministry of Health and alliance with the food industry, and competition with other policy goals—that favored the development of individual-level policy approaches to obesity in France at the expense of social-structural ones. This case points to the need to more systematically document inconsistencies and consistencies between social problem framing and policies. It also shows that national culture is multivalent and internally contradictory, fueling political and social struggles over which version of national culture will prevail at any given moment.
With FPCS embarking on its fourth decade of publishing work on the study of France and the francophone world, the journal invited scholars in several disciplines to write short essays on where they thought the field of French Studies should head in the future. This essay introduces the resulting dossier on “French Studies and Its Futures.” It situates the project in the current context in which the field is thriving intellectually but struggling with menacing institutional pressures. It goes on to describe the particular formulation of French Studies that the journal came to represent in its early years in the 1980s, how it evolved since, and what that experience suggests about how scholars can respond creatively to the challenges and opportunities the future may hold for the field.
An American scholar is often struck by the absence of race in France as a category of analysis or the absence of discussions of race in its historical or sociological dimensions. After all, “race” on this side of the Atlantic, for reasons having to do with the peculiar history of the United States, has long been a focus of discussion. The notion of race has shaped scholarly analysis for decades, in history, sociology, and political science. Race also constitutes a category regularly employed by the state, in the census, in electoral districting, and in affirmative action. In France, on the contrary, race hardly seems acknowledged, in spite of both scholarly and governmental preoccupation with racism and immigration.
The future of democracy under globalization is the most burning political debate in France today.1 It lies at the heart of the quarrels between souverainistes and federalists; it is the focus of the assault on neoliberalism and on the media led by Pierre Bourdieu and of the attack on globalization mounted in the pages of Le Monde diplomatique.2 In parallel with these intellectual battles of the past decade, there has been a rising tide of social mobilization and protest over globalization in France. The highwater marks start with the vast strike wave of December 1995, described by a Le Monde journalist as the first strikes in an advanced industrial nation against globalization.