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Philip H. Gordon and Sophie Meunier

The nature of the French economy has changed radically in recent years. Breaking with its mercantilist and dirigiste past, France has since the early 1980s converted to market liberalization, both as the necessary by-product of European integration and globalization and as a deliberate effort by policymakers. Whereas the French state used to own large sectors of the economy, partly to keep them from foreign control, now even a Socialist-led government proceeds with privatization, with scant regard for the nationality of the buyer.

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Policy Activism in a Globalized Economy

France's 35-hour Workweek

Gunnar Trumbull

In June 1998, France’s Aubry Law initiated the move to a 35-hour workweek, a process that became mandatory for all private companies with more than twenty employees in January 2000. The three-fold goal of the Aubry legislation has been to lower the level of unemployment in France, to introduce greater flexibility into French labor contracting, and to bolster France’s weakening labor unions. When it was announced, the project was greeted with skepticism, verging on ridicule, from the economic community. The Financial Times suggested that the law was “little more than symbolic.”1 Economist Paul Krugman declared it “conceptually confused.”

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Katherine Scheil

In late nineteenth- and twentieth-century America, hundreds of Shakespeare clubs met regularly to read, study, and perform Shakespeare's works. Their motives ranged from personal improvement to community betterment, and they were frequently involved in initiatives designed to memorialize Shakespeare and celebrate their own intellectual achievements. Dozens of public gardens, libraries, and other civic projects are a result of the efforts of clubwomen, in small towns and large cities. Privately, club members also memorized Shakespeare by incorporating a variety of domestic practices into their Shakespeare-centered labors, which preserved Shakespeare as a prominent part of American cultural life.

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Ángel-Luis Pujante and Noemí Vera

José Carlos Somoza (1959- ) is the latest in a list of Spanish writers, starting in the Romantic period, who have dealt with Shakespeare as a fictional character. This article examines his presentation of the Bard in his play Miguel Will (1997) and in his short story 'Hamlet' (2008). In the former, Shakespeare is obsessed with the writing of Cardenio and confuses reality and fiction in his private life. In the latter - a short story narrated from the viewpoint of his dog Hamlet - Shakespeare is presented in his domestic milieu in Stratford, where he is forced by a secret corporation to write a different Hamlet.

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Call for Papers

Feminist Movements across the Board (A Critical Analysis)

Barbara Franchi, Natália S. Perez and Giovanni A. Travaglino

Feminist movements have had a fundamental impact on social life in many different parts of the world. Reforms in marriage and private property laws, as well as change in spheres as diverse as sexual life, contraception, and the work-place have had profound consequences on the way we conceptualize, act and signify gender relations. Feminist thinkers and activists have also brought attention to the impact that the intersectionality of racism, heterosexism, poverty and religious intolerance (among many other factors) can have in people’s lives.

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Andrea Smith

Since their arrival in France in the early 1960s, former settlers of Algeria have developed an array of private and public “sites of memory” projects that have remained unnoticed in wider French society or have been interpreted uncharitably. This article offers a new perspective on these projects. Informed by Maurice Halbwachs' concern with the material supports for collective memory and Sigmund Freud's insights on loss, I reinterpret them as stages in a work of mourning, and offer new insights on the wider question of France's relationship to its colonial past.

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Andrei S. Markovits

This is not the place for me to express my boundless admiration for

the scholarship of our dear friend and colleague, Gerald Feldman,

who passed from this world far too early in the fall of 2007. Nor

would I find it appropriate to address my personal friendship with

Gerry in these pages. I have done both elsewhere and—most important

to me—privately to Gerry's widow, Norma. Nevertheless, I do

find it more than appropriate to mention Gerry's involvement with

German Politics and Society. I was deeply moved and much honored

by Jeff Anderson's request to do so.

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Henrike Rau

Ireland’s transition from a predominantly rural to a (sub)urban society over the course of the twentieth century coincided with fundamental changes in its socio-cultural and environmental fabric (Corcoran et al. 2007; Moore and Scott 2005; Punch 2004).1 In particular, the recent suburbanization of many Irish towns and cities has raised interesting questions about the spatial organization of human social life. How important is public space for democratic participation? What kinds of spaces do people require to engage with others, or to get involved in community activities? Can we use spatial resources more sustainably and, if so, what are the consequences of such a transition for public and private spaces?

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Liberal Values and Socialist Models

Reply to Darrel Moellendorf

Anton D. Lowenberg

In a recent issue of this journal, Darrel Moellendorf evaluates three socialist models of economic organisation in terms of their efficiency and equity attributes (Moellendorf 1997). From the perspective of the cogency of the arguments made within the worldview accepted by Moellendorf, his contribution must certainly be judged a scholarly and thoughtfully written piece. However, as a free’market economist I find the central claim of his article – that any of the three socialist models discussed can successfully reproduce or even approximate the individual freedom and economic efficiency of a private-property rights system – implausible to say the least.

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Bordering Intimacy

The Fight against Marriages of Convenience in Brussels

Maïté Maskens

Based on ethnographic fieldwork conducted between January 2012 and June 2013 in eight civil registry offices in Brussels, this article explores how assumptions about intimacy intersect with the moral standards of bureaucrats evaluating the authenticity of conjugal life in order to prevent 'marriages of convenience'. From the 'intimate conviction' of the agents of the state to the co-production of intimate narratives, this article tries to understand the intrusion of states in contemporary intimacies. I look at how the bureaucratic application of a civilizational ideology affects the subjectivities of those engaging in partnerships across two different nationalities (bi-national couples) – and blurs an historic distinction between what is public and what is private.