La d mocratie inachev e
La démocratie représentative s'impose dans son principe en même temps qu'elle se fragilise dans son fonctionnement. Si la démocratie peut être banalement définie comme la mise en œuvre de la souveraineté du peuple, le contenu même de cette dernière semble en effet aujourd'hui se dissiper. Progression de la mondialisation économique, accélération de la construction européenne, croissance du rôle du droit, montée en puissance des instances de régulation non élues, rôle plus actif du Conseil constitutionnel : de multiples évolutions convergent pour ébranler les objets et les modes d'expression acquis de la volonté générale. Le but de cet ouvrage est d'éclairer ces questions présentes en les resituant dans une histoire longue et élargie du problème de la souveraineté du peuple. Car les interrogations sur le sens et les formes adéquates de cette souveraineté ne datent pas d'aujourd'hui. Si elle apparaît depuis plus de deux siècles comme l'incontournable principe organisateur de tout ordre politique moderne, l'impératif que traduit cette évidence fondatrice a toujours été aussi ardent qu'imprécis. En elle se sont superposés depuis longtemps le bien et le flou. Le cortège des déceptions et le sentiment des trahisons qui l'ont toujours accompagnée ont été d'autant plus vifs que n'a cessé d'être inaccomplie sa définition. L'histoire d'un désenchantement et l'histoire d'une indétermination se sont pour cela enchevêtrées en permanence. Poursuivant la recherche menée dans Le Sacre du citoyen (Gallimard, 1992) sur l'avènement du suffrage universel et dans Le Peuple introuvable (Gallimard, 1998) sur la représentation, cet ouvrage constitue le troisième volet d'une histoire intellectuelle d'ensemble de la démocratie moderne. A distance des démissions ou des simplifications contemporaines, l'auteur entend montrer que le projet d'une souveraineté plus active du peuple reste toujours pertinent et qu'il peut dorénavant être compris en des termes qui renforcent la liberté au lieu de la menacer.
The French Republic
An invaluable reference work on the the history and meaning of Republicanism in France.
Democracy posits the universality of the equality principle: a community of citizens is governed by the principle of the formal equality of all individuals, whatever their real social, cultural, or other inequalities. Democratization, on the other hand, is motivated by the ambition of ensuring the real equality of citizens, and not simply their formal equality. The dynamics of democracy are thus insured by the development of a welfare state that increasingly intervenes in order to satisfy the social and economic needs of individuals. Especially focused on France, yet informed by the experiences of other European countries, this book examines the dilemmas of the search for equality in society and politics. Democratization guarantees the rights of salaried workers and employees, the rights to material survival and housing, as well as health care, education, and culture. Today, however, as Schnapper observes, its action has become paradoxical. As the fruit of a praiseworthy concern to ensure the universality of rights, what Schnapper identifies as a "Providence State" now aims, by means of positive discrimination and other specific promotion policies, to defend the particular rights of certain categories of individuals. The action of the Providence State thus nourishes an aspiration: that the identities of historical collectivities gathered within the same national society be publicly recognized, and that these have rights. Equity thus supplants equality; and multiculturalism, universality. Such is the ordeal currently experienced by Western democracies, which are faced with the increasingly "providential" nature of their societies. Indeed, the author asks, how can a united political Europe be constructed on the ideals and institutions of citizenship, when European nations are becoming providential democracies? Providential Democracy offers a searching and timely critique of democratization that will be of interest to sociologists, political scientists, and historians.
Aspects of studying the politics of the past are thematized through feminist historians discussion on war and the role of the worker in communist regimes. One article and two comments deal with contemporary theories of democracy. One of the included articles discusses the chances of democratization in the EU, and one carries out a fictional analysis of an undemocratic regime. Three articles propose rhetorical redescriptions of key political concepts, namely, objectivity, decision, and patriotism.
History as a Kind of Writing
Philippe Carrard, a historian and theorist of historical forms and functions, has an enviable reputation both in France and the U.S. He gives historiographers access to what writers of history in France have been doing the past 25 years, casting light on views of historiography put forward by literary theorists, by theorists of history, and by historians themselves. The field of historical theory has been dominated by Hayden White for a long time; Carrard bids fair to displace him, by showing how historians use other forms (i.e., in addition to narrative) for building their accounts. This book provides an overview of the current state of French historiography (touching on history of memory, contemporary history, political history, and other areas that the Annales school left out or rejected), but it aims to do more. Carrard examines conventions of historiographic writing at different levels, going from the structure of the whole book to specific points such as the use of the first person singular, the turn to figurative language, and the way documents are made part of the text. Throughout the book, Carrard is in constant dialogue with English-speaking theorists of history (from Ankersmit to Megill and many in between on our backlist), and among the many French theorists, he ranges from Henry Rousso to Paul Veyne, also on out backlist. He is at pains to keep the distinction between history and fiction clearly in sight, treating the uses of figurative languages, anachronisms, incompleteness of evidence, and more, all related to the poetics of French historiography, by which he means the study of the rules, codes, and conventions that operate in a given set of texts. "
The first comprehensive analysis of the philosophical issues raised by the hijab controversy in France, this book also conducts a dialogue between contemporary Anglo-American and French political theory and defends a progressive republican solution to so-called multicultural conflicts in contemporary societies. It critically assesses the official republican philosophy of laïcité which purported to justify the 2004 ban on religious signs in schools. Laïcité is shown to encompass a comprehensive theory of republican citizenship, centered on three ideals: equality (secular neutrality of the public sphere), liberty (individual autonomy and emancipation) and fraternity (civic loyalty to the community of citizens). Challenging official interpretations of laïcité, the book then puts forward a critical republicanism which does not support the hijab ban, yet upholds a revised interpretation of three central republican commitments: secularism, non-domination and civic solidarity. Thus, it articulates a version of secularism which squarely addresses the problem of status quo bias - the fact that Western societies are historically not neutral towards all religions. It also defends a vision of female emancipation which rejects the coercive paternalism inherent in the regulation of religious dress, yet does not leave individuals unaided in the face of religious and secular, patriarchal and ethnocentric domination. Finally, the book outlines a theory of immigrant integration which places the burden of civic integration on basic socio-political institutions, rather than on citizens themselves. Critical republicanism proposes an entirely new approach to the management of religious and cultural pluralism, centred on the pursuit of the progressive ideal of non-domination in existing, non-ideal societies. Oxford Political Theory presents the best new work in contemporary political theory. It is intended to be broad in scope, including original contributions to political philosophy, and also work in applied political theory. The series will contain works of outstanding quality with no restriction as to approach or subject matter. Series Editors: Will Kymlicka, David Miller, and Alan Ryan.
The Oxford Handbook of French Politics
The Oxford Handbook of French Politics provides a comprehensive and comparative overview of the French political system through the lens of political science. The Handbook is organized into three parts: the first part identifies foundational concepts for the French case, including chapters on republicanism and social welfare; the second part focuses on thematic large-scale processes, such identity, governance, and globalization; while the third part examines a wide range of issues relating to substantive politics and policy, among which are chapters on political representation, political culture, social movements, economic policy, gender policy, and defense and security policy. The volume brings together established and emerging scholars and seeks to examine the French political system from a comparative perspective. The contributors provide a state-of-the-art review both of the comparative scholarly literature and the study of the French case, making The Oxford Handbook of French Politics an invaluable resource for anyone interested in the foundations of contemporary political life in France.
A Divided Republic
This book is an original and sophisticated historical interpretation of contemporary French political culture. Until now, there have been few attempts to understand the political consequences of the profound geopolitical, intellectual and economic changes that France has undergone since the 1970s. However, Emile Chabal's detailed study shows how passionate debates over citizenship, immigration, colonial memory, the reform of the state and the historiography of modern France have galvanised the French elite and created new spaces for discussion and disagreement. Many of these debates have coalesced around two political languages - republicanism and liberalism - both of which structure the historical imagination and the symbolic vocabulary of French political actors. The tension between these two political languages has become the central battleground of contemporary French politics. It is around these two poles that politicians, intellectuals and members of France's vast civil society have tried to negotiate the formidable challenges of ideological uncertainty and a renewed sense of global insecurity.
Democracy Past and Future
Democracy Past and Future is the first English-language collection of Pierre Rosanvallon's most important essays on the historical origins, contemporary difficulties, and future prospects of democratic life. One of Europe's leading political thinkers, Rosanvallon proposes in these essays new readings of the history, aims, and possibilities of democratic theory and practice, and provides unique theoretical understandings of key moments in democracy's trajectory, from the French Revolution and the struggles for universal suffrage to European unification and the crises of the present. In so doing, he lays out an influential new theory of how to write the history of politics. Rosanvallon's historical and philosophical approach examines the "pathologies" that have curtailed democracy's potential and challenges the antitotalitarian liberalism that has dominated recent political thought. All in all, he adroitly combines historical and theoretical analysis with an insistence on the need for a new form of democracy. Above all, he asks what democracy means when the people rule but are nowhere to be found. Throughout his career, Rosanvallon has resisted simple categorization. Rosanvallon was originally known as a primary theorist of the "second left", which hoped to stake out a non-Marxist progressive alternative to the irresistible appeal of revolutionary politics. In fact, Rosanvallon revived the theory of "civil society" even before its usage by East European dissidents made it globally popular as a non-statist politics of freedom and pluralism. His ideas have been shaped by a variety of influences, ranging from his work with an influential French union to his teachers François Furet and Claude Lefort. Well known throughout Europe as a historian, political theorist, social critic, and public intellectual, Pierre Rosanvallon was recently elected to a professorship at the Collège de France, Paris, a position held at various times by Claude Lévi-Strauss, Michel Foucault, and Pierre Bourdieu. Democracy Past and Future begins with Rosanvallon's groundbreaking and synthetic lecture that he delivered upon joining this institution. Throughout the volume, Rosanvallon illuminates and invigorates contemporary political and democratic thought.
Re imagining Democracy in the Age of Revolutions
Re-imagining Democracy in the Age of Revolutions charts a transformation in the way people thought about democracy in the North Atlantic region in the years between the American Revolution and the revolutions of 1848. In the mid-eighteenth century, 'democracy' was a word known only to the literate. It was associated primarily with the ancient world and had negative connotations: democracies were conceived to be unstable, warlike, and prone to mutate into despotisms. By the mid-nineteenth century, however, the word had passed into general use, although it was still not necessarily an approving term. In fact, there was much debate about whether democracy could achieve robust institutional form in advanced societies. In this volume, a cast of internationally-renowned contributors shows how common trends developed throughout the United States, France, Britain, and Ireland, particularly focussing on the era of the American, French, and subsequent European revolutions. Re-imagining Democracy in the Age of Revolutions argues that 'modern democracy' was not invented in one place and then diffused elsewhere, but instead was the subject of parallel re-imaginings, as ancient ideas and examples were selectively invoked and reworked for modern use. The contributions significantly enhance our understanding of the diversity and complexity of our democratic inheritance.