Alain Dieckhoff, Nationalism and the Multination State (translated by Cynthia Schoch), London, Hurst and New York, Oxford University Press, September 2016. An interview with the author.

- Let’s start with a short historical reminder: when and how did the concept of nationalism emerge? You situate it at the heart of modernity. Can you tell us more?

- Nationalism is both an ideology and a political movement that aims to make the nation—a human community sharing common characteristics, be they cultural (language, religion, shared history) and/or political (belonging to the same territorialized political community)—the focus of collective expression. The term originated in the main European languages, first timidly at the end of the 18th century, and then firmly took hold in the following century. This means that it is a modern phenomenon related to a major transformation: political sovereignty is vested in the people, no more in monarchs.

How do you explain that nationalism has switched from a ‘positive’ connotation, synonymous with freedom and emancipation, to a ‘negative’ connotation, synonymous with exclusion and withdrawing into oneself?

- Because the idea of nation was at odds with the unequal society of the Ancien Regime, it was inseparable from the rise of democracy as government by the people. Nationalism originally had a truly revolutionary and emancipatory dimension.



The Enigma of Islamist Violence, by Luis Martinez, Amélie Blom and Laetitia Bucaille (eds)
The debate surrounding Islamist violence remains locked in oppositional sterility. Are such attacks perpetrated by Islamists as a matter of belief or do they reflect socio-economic realities? Is the suicide bomber a pathological case, as the psychologist maintains, or a clever strategist, as those steeped in the geopolitical approach claim? This book aims to transcend both the culturalist or underdevelopment explanations by focusing on the highly variegated nature of the phenomenon.
Democracies at War Against Terrorism. A Comparative Perspective, by Samy Cohen (ed.)
On numerous occasions, democratic nations have been singled out by human rights NGOs for the brutality of their modus operandi, for their inadequate attention to the protection of civilian populations, or for acts of abuse or torture on prisoners. Why do they perpetrate these violations? Do they do so intentionally or unintentionally? Can democracies combat irregular armed groups without violating international law? When their population is under threat, do they behave as non-democracies would? Does this type of war inevitably produce war crimes on a more or less massive scale?
The Gamble of War Is it Possible to Justify Preventive War?, by Ariel Colonomos
With the new millennium, prevention has become a popular doctrine in international politics. One of its most noticeable features is that democracies become inclined to strike first. In the US, it has served as the banner of the neo–conservative movement but it also gathered support from some liberals. It has also inspired several Israeli interventions. Does the preventive use of force meet the normative criteria that prevail or should prevail in a democratic system? Or does it endanger the legal and ethical traditions that characterize the history of Western military ethics?
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Béatrice Epaye, Présidente du réseau d'ONGs centrafricaines, le ROSCA


Roland Marchal, Sciences Po-CERI, CNRS


Présidence : Marielle Debos, Université Paris Nanterre, ISP, membre junior de l'IUF




Discussion autour du rapport:


Crédits photo : Thierry Brésillon

Responsable scientifique : Roland Marchal, Sciences Po-CERI, CNRS

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Brève histoire d'une transition singulière en RCA 2/11 For more information


Dans le cadre du groupe de recherche Migrations et mobilités du CERI


En partenariat avec la revue Afrique contemporaine


À l’occasion de la parution du numéro spécial d’Afrique contemporaine (n°256), nous vous proposons de rencontrer les coordinateurs du dossier sur le vote à distance en Afrique.




Thibaut Jaulin, Sciences Po,

Etienne Smith, Chaire d'Etudes Africaines Comparées (Rabat) et chercheur associé au Sciences Po- CERI,

Nicolas Courtin, Rédacteur en chef adjoint, Afrique contemporaine.



Responsables scientifiques :  Hélène Le Bail (Sciences Po-CERI, CNRS), Hélène Thiollet (Sciences Po-CERI, CNRS), Catherine Wihtol de Wenden (Sciences Po-CERI, CNRS), Thibaut Jaulin (Sciences Po), Antoine Pécoud (Sciences Po-CERI)




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Les diasporas africaines aux urnes 17/11 For more information

En hommage à la revue cubaine Temas qui, depuis 2002, organise des débats publics tous les derniers jeudis de chaque mois à La Havane, l’OPALC propose ses "Ultimos Jueves", espace de dialogue autour d'un invité ou sur un thème d'actualité.
Avec le soutien de CAF - Banque latino-américaine de développement


Avec :


Marilde Loiola, Université Nationale de Brasilia

Frédéric Louault, Université Libre de Bruxelles

Anibal Perez-Liñan, Université de Pittsburgh



Président: Olivier Dabène, Sciences Po-CERI/OPALC


Responsable scientifique : Olivier Dabène (Sciences Po-CERI/OPALC)





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La crise au Brésil 27/10 For more information