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Sophie Meunier

For decades, the influential Franco-American scholar Stanley Hoffmann saw his role at Harvard as “explainer and defender of France.” * 1 France was an indispensable country—from culture to architecture, from education to bureaucracy. Analyzing the

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Le salafisme quiétiste en France

Un exemple d’apolitisme militant ?

Mohamed-Ali Adraoui

le chemin de la « Vérité », et la contrainte dogmatique de ne contester ni récuser le système en place par un investissement « traditionnel » dans le champ politique. En d’autres termes, comment représenter une force de changement social en France

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Yan Slobodkin

In 1913, famine struck the Sahel from Senegal to Sudan and killed as many as half a million people. French observers barely noted the event. In 1931, a far smaller famine in western Niger caused between 15,000 and 30,000 deaths. This time, the

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Policing the French Empire

Colonial Law Enforcement and the Search for Racial-Territorial Hegemony

Samuel Kalman

variety of models in use within the diverse array of locales. However, only rarely have collections focused exclusively on the French empire, and then principally sub-Saharan territories along with Madagascar. 5 Yet the entire “très grande France

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A French place without a cheese

Problems with heritage and identity in northeastern France

Paola Filippucci

In France, the classic produit du terroir, the local product that with its mix of skill and raw materials embodies the distinctive tie between people and their terroir (soil), is cheese. Thus, when inhabitants of the Argonne say that it “does not even have a cheese”, they imply that it lacks a patrimoine (cultural heritage). On the other hand, they do make passionate claims about 'being Argonnais', conveying a marked recognition of, and attachment to, a named place in relation to which they identify themselves and others. Focusing on this paradox, this article will highlight certain assumptions regarding the definition of cultural heritage found in public policy.

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The Anthropology of Literature in France

Birth and Becoming of a New Field of Studies

Laurent Sebastian Fournier and Jean-Marie Privat

In this article we present the ongoing theoretical discussions concerning the relations between anthropology and literature in France. We recall the historical relationship of a part of French anthropology and the world of literature. We then try to show how the anthropology of literature began by using the model of the anthropology of art, mainly concentrating on literary works as individual creations specific to the style or the cosmology of a given writer. We explore a new perspective on the analysis of the social and symbolic meanings of literary worlds, putting the emphasis on what is called ‘ethnocriticism’ in France. In order to understand better the influence of literature and literary motives on contemporary cultural practices, and to grasp the relation of literary works with the outside world and with everyday life, we propose to build up a comparative approach of literary works and rituals. Through different novels or other literary works, we address possible developments of contemporary anthropologies of literature in France.

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The Veil and Muslim Women in France

Religious and Political Aspects

Aref Abu-Rabia

The right of Muslim schoolgirls in France to wear the veil (hijab) raises questions concerning the meaning of the veil for Muslim women. The debate about Muslim dress codes and whether Islam belongs in Europe has become a critical issue. The debate that began about the veil in Islam has evolved into a large discussion about Islam itself: as a religion, the Islamic movement in France and the relationship between Islam and fundamentalism. The purpose of this article is to examine some definitions of the hijab and its meaning in the context of the Qur’an, and to analyse some of the understandings of the hijab, as articulated in the late twentieth century by Muslim and non-Muslim scholars. It also explores the nature of Muslim reactions in France as well as their tensions with the surrounding society, as a result of the French ban on wearing the veil in public schools.

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Marie-France Gaunard-Anderson

*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.

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From Measuring Integration to Fighting Discrimination

The Illusion of "Ethnic Statistics"

Alain Blum and France Guérin-Pace

In this article, we engage in a debate that first took place in France ten years ago, but that has revived today. This debate concerns the question of whether to introduce ethnic categories in statistical surveys in France. There is strong opposition between those who argue for statistical categories to measure ethnic or racial populations as part of an effort to fight against discrimination, and those who argue against such statistics. The latter, including the authors of the present article, discuss the impossibility of building such categories, their inadequacies, and the political and social consequences they could have because of the way they represent society. They also argue that there are better, more efficient ways to measure discrimination and to fight against it. After describing the history of this debate, the authors present the different positions and explore the larger implications of the debate for French public life.

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French Catholics, Women, and the Home

The Founding Generation of the Jeunesse ouvrière chrétienne féminine

W. Brian Newsome

In 1928 a group of young Parisian working women, guided by Father Georges Guérin, established a Catholic youth group called the Jeunesse ouvrière chrétienne féminine. This study examines the ideas of the founding generation of the so-called Jocists on women and the home; the ways in which these conceptions were rooted in religious assumptions about women and domestic space; the evolution of these positions through the Ligue ouvrière chrétienne féminine and the Mouvement populaire des familles (adult organizations that evolved from the youth group); and the effect of these ideas on the shape of domestic space in France. From this investigation emerges a portrait of conflicted individuals and organizations advocating ideas that were sometimes conservative, sometimes liberal, often contradictory, but all rooted in Catholic social doctrine. This story enriches our understanding of the Catholic Left, of which these associations became an integral part, and the impact that these groups had on France.