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
Un exemple d’apolitisme militant ?
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
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
Cultural anthropology in France continues to bear the influence of a colonial-era distinction between “modern” societies with a high degree of social differentiation (and marked by rapid social change) and ostensibly socially homogeneous and change-resistant “traditional” ones. The history of key institutions (museums and research institutes) bears witness to this, as does recent scholarship centered on “the contemporary” that reworks earlier models and concepts and applies them to a world increasingly marked by transnational circulation and globalization. Anthropology at the Crossroads describes the evolution of a national tradition of scholarship, changes to its institutional status, and the models, concepts, and critical perspectives of anthropologists currently revisiting and reworking the foundations of the discipline in France.
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.
une géographie à inventer
This article argues that the way French society comprehends its territory is not only an aspect of a more general identity crisis, but also an acting component of an overall political model. France can be characterized as a "state-fatigued" society. Centralism has had an important spatial consequence: an alliance of the nation-state and provincial "notables" against the city. The major cities, especially Paris, produce for the rest of the country but continue to be denied effective local and regional political power. In this context, the peculiar tradition of aménagement du territoire can be analyzed as a discourse based on the myth of a demiurge, the state, which would be the only legitimate actor able to restore France's grandeur by reconquering the deprived parts of its territory. Correlative public polices target moral compensation for a supposed injustice: a partial reimbursement of the debt France once contracted by incorporating the provinces into the national territory. After reviewing disappointing recent changes in the geographical architecture of political power, the article makes some proposals. They are based on the dual framework that an empowerment of relevant spatial units will be necessary and that only a profound and massive debate involving ordinary citizens can overcome the current institutional gridlock.
Le cas de deux entreprises d’État en Haute-Garonne (1960–1975)
Clair Juilliet and Michael Llopart
Les événements socio-politiques de la fin des années 1960 représentent un moment de contestation de l’ordre établi et de bouillonnement social bien connu des historiens. En France, avec 6 à 10 millions de grévistes suivant les estimations, l
The Impact of French Internment on the Pacifist Convictions and Literary Imagination of Lion Feuchtwanger
Nicole Dombrowski Risser
1940s interested in his time in occupied France and how the experience shaped the ideologies he embraced (and rejected). 2 Feuchtwanger first made a name for himself as a passionate believer in pacifism. In this pursuit he was not alone. A generation of
A Comedic Film between History and Memory
of Jewish deportation and repressed memories of (de)colonization as well as their legacies for a multiracial and multicultural France. Oury set Rabbi Jacob in a present full of intentional allusions to the recent past. As the top box-office draw of
Narrating the History of “Empire” in France, 1885–1900
In 1912, Georges Saint-Paul, a doctor who had spent his career serving the French army in Algeria and Tunisia, wrote a series of articles later collected into a book called Vers l’empire . * In these articles, he insisted that the Third Republic