Critique internationale

Revue comparative de sciences sociales

Couverture Critique Internationale N°66Critique internationale. Revue comparative de sciences sociales is a quarterly French language journal devoted to international issues. It is published by the Presses de Sciences Po with support from the Centre national de la recherche scientifique and the Centre national du livre. A peer reviewed journal, it has since its creation (October 1998) been coordinated by the Centre de recherches internationales (CERI-Sciences Po/CNRS).

As a comparative social sciences journal, Critique internationale seeks to contribute to the political analysis of countries other than France by drawing upon the tools of political science, sociology, international relations, anthropology, political economy, history, law and geography. Each quarter, a thematic dossier consisting of five or six articles examines several case studies from the point of view of a common issue. The geographical field that is covered can be indeterminate or instead focus on a particular region or even country. In fact, one of the specificities of Critique internationale is to address a very diverse array of geographical and cultural entities in every number. Together with the other articles published in each number (three varia), these thematic studies supply particularly rich material for social scientific comparison. The “Lectures” section, for its part, offers book reviews as well as thematic surveys of current research in a given field.

The journal accepts articles in English, Spanish, Russian and German and supplies authors with evaluations of their texts in their original languages. These texts are then translated into French. Moreover, Critique internationale translates articles initially written in French or another language into English. These texts as well as the rest of the collection are available at the periodical portal.

ISSN paper 1290-7839

ISSN electronic 1777-554X

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N°75 - Content



No Abstract


Thema - La gouvernementalité rurale dans les pays du Sud
Edited by Jean-Pierre Chauveau


No Abstract


Le nexus État, foncier, migrations, conflits comme champ social
Jean-Pierre Chauveau


No Abstract


De la spoliation à l’accumulation : violence, pacification et conflits fonciers en Colombie
Jacobo Grajales

[From Plunder to Accumulation: Violence, Pacification and Land Conflicts in Colombia]
In Colombia, the armed conflict of recent decades has been marked by major confrontations over land ownership. A decisive factor in the emergence of armed actors, these confrontations were significantly exacerbated by land grabbing strategies, which led to forced population displacement and territorial reconfiguration. Despite the demobilization of paramilitary militias, who were the principal agents of land grabbing, and the relative stabilization of the security situation since the mid-2000s, the forms of accumulation resulting from the war have not been seriously challenged. On the contrary, in line with the discourses and normative demands of what is described as a “post-conflict” situation, the transformations now underway are characterized either by a more discrete use of violence or the emergence of new economic actors. On the basis of this observation, the present article critically examines, not just the political economy of rural land-ownership in a post-conflict situation, but also and more generally the manner in which the notions of discontinuity and transformation are used to describe these contexts.

Gouvernance internationalisée en situation de guerre civile : l’accaparement foncier en Afghanistan (2001-2015)
Adam Baczko

[Internationalized Governance in a Situation of Civil War: Land Grabbing in Afghanistan (2001-2015)]
Far from being the effect of some suppositional culture or relationship to the state, in Afghanistan economic predation is a result of the integration of networks of politico-military entrepreneurs within the system of internationalized governance that has been jointly produced by the actors of the Western intervention and Hamid Karzai’s regime. These entrepreneurs take advantage of the inflationist and speculative dynamic at play in the domain of land ownership, itself part of a longer process of land resource disembedding that got under way in the 1960s and 70s and was accelerated by the civil war that started in 1979. Karzai’s regime and its foreign supporters are at the center of this new political economy, which, in the absence of regulation, allows a small group to monopolize aid and land revenue. By distributing a small share of this windfall to their clientele and investing the rest abroad, these entrepreneurs have thereby been able to enrich themselves outside of any network of reciprocity. This internationalized governance marks a break with the history of the Afghan state which, since the late nineteenth century, has asserted itself by regulating the redistribution of land.

Réforme agraire et reconfiguration du régime de gouvernementalité dans Les Tuxtlas, Mexique, 1920-1945
Éric Léonard

[Agrarian Reform and the Reconfiguration of the Regime of Governmentality in Los Tuxtlas, Mexico (1920-1945)]
How has the issue of property rights to land been employed in the processes by which state and rural governmentality regimes are constructed in Mexico? The agrarian reform of 1917 has been seen as having played a decisive role in the reconfiguration of relations between the state and local government bodies. For its implementation opposed two conceptions of state power, citizenship, property and the market: the first centered on the autonomy of local systems of property rights and political governance; the second was based on the centralization and verticality of relations between the state and rural communities, with the state and labor union bureaucracies playing a structuring role in the allocation and regulation of land rights. From 1935 onwards, land distributions provided leverage for establishing coalitions between the agents of the central state and subaltern sectors of village societies. In seeking to emancipate themselves from traditional patriarchal structures of power, the latter set in motion multiple internal frontier processes that led to the reconfiguration of the politico-territorial and institutional structures of rural Mexico.

La construction de l’État français en Guyane à l’épreuve de la mobilité des peuples amérindiens
Geoffroy Filoche, Damien Davy, Armelle Guignier, Françoise Armanville

[The Construction of the French State in Guyana Confronted with the Mobility of Amerindian Peoples]
As a problematic, the mobility of the Amerindians of Guyana – a fundamental characteristic of their traditional way of life – is inseparable from the question of their rights over the land they occupy. Although it allows these populations to avoid intra- and inter-communitarian conflicts, this mobility can also be a source of conflict when space and natural resources are less readily available and the need to arbitrate the use of space among Amerindians, non-native populations, elected officials and the dispersed services of the state has been placed on the national political agenda. The present article examines the ways in which the French state compromises with native communities as well as the manner in which the rights granted to them affect their practices of occupying space. More generally, it seeks to show that, as the state’s reach extends to formerly peripheral spaces (where communities had been left some leeway) and its inclination to organize them grows, the political administration of Amerindian mobility becomes an increasingly sensitive issue.

Les réseaux politico-économiques dans la Russie de Poutine
Roman Volkov

[State-Business Networks in Putin’s Russia]
After the fall of the USSR, Russia underwent a twofold transformation: a political transformation, with the transition to pluralistic democracy; and economic transformation, with the adoption of the market economy. This novel situation favored the emergence of an oligarchy whose private interests prevailed over those of the state. The arrival to power of Vladimir Putin completely inverted this order: an elite in the service of the state’s interest emerged and gradually challenged the dominant position of the oligarchs. To the degree that its political authority and economic influence crush all competition, this elite resembles a ruling class. Ideologically structured around the rhetoric of the “strong state” and personally tied to Vladimir Putin, this ruling class benefits from a form of “administrative capital” that consists in the accumulation of key positions within the economic and political fields. This allows it to control the economy, coordinate strategic decisions and redistribute the economic rents of its dominant position.

Itinéraire d’une « bonne pratique » : la Banque mondiale et les conditional cash transfers en Amérique latine et aux Philippines
Pablo Diaz

[Itinerary of a “Good Practice”: The World Bank and Conditional Cash Transfers in Latin America and the Philippines]
This study seeks to sharpen our understanding of the processes by which “good practices” are defined and redefined in the complex interactions between international organizations and national governments. Several field studies conducted in Latin America and the Philippines of conditional cash transfer programs reveal the mechanisms that underlie standardization and the circulation and importation of public policy models. The case of the World Bank, in particular, allows one to consider the new modes of action of international financial institutions. In order to appear less coercive, the latter present themselves as enlightened intermediaries between countries of the South that supply public action solutions and those that seek them. At the same time, these institutions exploit the “innovations” of these countries in order to secure their status as experts. In fact, the re-appropriation capacity of some Southern countries is such that their innovations can result in the emergence of a new variant of the “good practice” (a sort of version 1.2) that is likely to become the new norm in force.

La Catalogne, du nationalisme à l’indépendantisme ? Les enjeux d’une radicalisation
Mathieu Petithomme

[From Nationalism to Independence in Catalonia? Issues of Radicalization]
Drawing upon a survey of the history of Catalan nationalism since the nineteenth century and an analysis of its recent trajectory, this discussion of the causes of separatist radicalization shows that the principal characteristics of Catalan nationalism have not changed since the Renaixença. They include an emphasis on linguistic “normalization” and fiscal autonomy, the integrative role played by nationalism in the context of a divided society, the conservative tropism of the bourgeoisie and phases of radicalization during periods when the institutional model of the state is in crisis. It is true that radicalization is part of a conflictual context brought about by the rejection of the autonomous status of 2005 as it related to measures recognizing the “Catalan nation” and its language. Yet separatism was also fueled by the crisis of 2008. Spread by way of the social movement’s activism, it was simultaneously an object of electoral recuperation by the Convergència i Uniò coalition, even if Catalonia nevertheless remains a “divided nation

État de littérature. Du « procès spectacle » au fait social. Historiographie de la médiatisation des procès en Union soviétique
Vanessa Voisin


No Abstract


Nicolas Martin-Breteau

Keeanga-Yamahtta Taylor, From #BlackLivesMatter to Black Liberation: Racism and Civil Rights, Chicago, HaymarketBooks, 2016, 270 pages.

Daniel Meier

Leïla Seurat, Le Hamas et le monde (2006-2015) : la politique étrangère du mouvement islamiste palestinien, Paris, CNRS Éditions, 2015, 344 pages.

Pascal Petit

Pierre Alary et Elsa Lafaye de Micheaux (dir.), Capitalismes asiatiques et puissance chinoise : diversité et recomposition des trajectoires nationales, Paris, Presses de Sciences Po, 2015, 300 pages.