Les études du CERI

Les études du CERI

Les Etudes du CERI series publishes about 10 issues per year following the strict rules of double blind peer reviewed academic publications. The editorial board is composed of members of CERI’s Unit Council.
Les Etudes du CERI is a tool for decision-making and offers to scrutinize and study the transformations of our contemporary world, in more than 200 titles addressing a variety of topics and analyzing political, social and economic questions related to a specific country/region or a global contemporary challenge. Every issue follows, and is the result of, a fieldwork undertaken by its author. In this respect, this publication illustrates CERI’s approach to area studies, based on a direct, empirical experience and methodology.
Previous and current issues are all available online, free of charge. As all publications of this website, Les Etudes du CERI is protected by copyright through the French law.


Series editor: Alain Dieckhoff, directeur du CERI

Editor of the journal: Judith Burko, judith.burko@sciencespo.fr, phone +33158717004

Media contact: Karolina Michel, karolina.michel@sciencespo.fr, phone+33158717007

Observatoire politique de l’Amérique latine et des Caraïbes de Sciences Po

Amérique latine - L’année politique 2017
Jan 2018
Argentina, Bolivia, Borders, Brazil, Chile, Collective mobilizations, Colombia, Costa Rica, Democratization, Dominican Republic, Economic transactions, Fight against crime and corruption, Haiti, Jamaica, Latin America and the Caribbean, Mexico, Nicaragua, Paraguay, Peace / Peacekeeping, Peru, Political science, Politics / Political Systems, Regional integration, Sovereignty, State, Trade, Transnational, Transnational actors, Venezuela, Les études du CERI

Amérique latine - L’Année politique 2017 est une publication de l’Observatoire politique de l’Amérique latine et des Caraïbes (Opalc) du CERI-Sciences Po. Il prolonge la démarche du site www.sciencespo.fr/opalc en offrant des clés de compréhension d’un continent en proie à des transformations profondes.

Kevin Parthenay

The Governance of Latin American Regional Organizations A Comparative Study of the Role of General Secretaries
Jan 2018
Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, Governance, Haiti, Latin America and the Caribbean, Mexico, Multilateralism, Networks, Nicaragua, Peru, Political science, Politics / Political Systems, Regional integration, Sociology, Sovereignty, State, Les études du CERI

In Latin America, as elsewhere in the world, regional and subregional organizations have multiplied recently. Scholars tend to focus on the variety of regionalisms or their ever changing nature (post-liberal, post-hegemonic...). This study, through a political sociology of regionalism approach, examines Latin American regions and their actors and goes beyond the first set of questions. In this perspective, scrutinizing the regional General Secretaries of the sub-continent is particularly useful to understand how regional powers emerge. With a specific focus on the Southern Common Market (UNSUR), the Common Market of the South (MERCOSUR), the Andean Community of Nations (CAN) and the Central American Integration System (SICA), this research offers a more precise answer to the question of the configuration of power within Latin American regionalisms.

Charlotte Thomas

Being a Kashmiri in Delhi. Experiencing Long-distance Nationalism
Jun 2017
Borders, Human rights, India, Material cultures, Political science, Regional integration, Sociology, South Asia, Sovereignty, State, Territory, Terrorism, Wars / Conflicts, Les études du CERI

Armed combatant and leader of the Hizbul Mujahideen Burhan Wani was killed by the Indian Army in July 2016. This killing triggered a new phase of insurgency in Kashmir. In the Valley, the local populace started mobilizing against the Indian State in the name of azadi, (freedom). In such volatile context, the production of the national sentiment of the Kashmiris is documented from a distanciated perspective. Frontiers of the national group are explored from New Delhi, as well as the logics of differentiation and otherification of the Kashmiri group towards the Indian one. Kashmiri nationalism therefore more clearly appears in a negative definition (what a Kashmiri is not) than in a positive definition (what a Kashmiri is). The slight and incremental slip of the meaning of azadi demands is at the heart of Kashmiri nationalism. From an original demand for greater autonomy within the Indian Republic, demands of azadi now refer to the independence of the Valley – yet there are nuances that will be studied. They also convey an utter rejection of “Indianess” whether national or citizen. In that respect, New Delhi’s negating the political aspect of the mobilizations that are taking place in the Kashmir Valley has dramatically fuelled the national sentiment of the Kashmiris. The current insurgency that started in July 2016 has sped up the pace of the process. Despite the escalating tensions in the Valley, New Delhi keeps refusing to consider the political dimension of the local social movements, be they violent or peaceful. That is the reason why, beyond Kashmir and Kashmiris themselves, studying the political demands of the Kashmiri population does shed a light on the functioning of the Indian nation and the Indian state.

Elections and notability in Iran. Analyzing the 2016 legislative vote in four wards
May 2017
Borders, Democratization, Governance, Identities, Iran, Middle East, Networks, Political science, Politics / Political Systems, Sociology, State, Les études du CERI

Elections have been trivialized in Iran. They allow for the expression of diversity, in particular ethnical and denominational, of historical regional identities, and prove the growing professionalization of political life. Paradoxically, such professionalization withdraws the Republic away into the levels of family, parenthood, autochthony, and even neighborhoods or devotional sociability, which are all institutions that instill a feeling of proximity, solidarity, communion; close to the notion of asabiyat. As the saying goes, the Islamic Republic has become a « parentocracy » (tâyefehsâlâri). The country’s industrial development isn’t at odds with such ponderousness since it lies on a web of very small family businesses. The analysis of the 2016 legislative elections in four wards reveals how important the issue of property is in political life, indivisible as it is of the various particularistic consciences. The connections with notables are still there, revealing lines of continuity with the old regime as well as longstanding agrarian conflicts that have not been erased by the Revolution and that are being kept alive through contemporary elections.

Observatoire politique de l’Amérique latine et des Caraïbes de Sciences Po

Amérique latine - L’année politique 2016
Jan 2017

Bayram Balci, Juliette Tolay

Turkey Hosting Syrian Refugees Between Humanitarian Commitment and Political Instrumentalisation
Dec 2016
Balkans, Diasporas, Globalization, International security, Middle East, Migrations, Nationalism, Peace / Peacekeeping, Regional integration, Religions, Russia, Syria, Terrorism, Transnational actors, Turkey, Wars / Conflicts, Les études du CERI

While the issue of Syrian refugees has led an increasing number of countries to work on curbing arrivals, one country, Turkey, hosts almost half of these refugees. Yet, far from imposing restrictions, Turkey has distinguished itself for its open border policy and large-scale humanitarian contribution. Turkey’s generosity alone is not sufficient to understand this asylum policy put in place specifically for Syrians. There are indeed a number of political factors that indicate a certain level of instrumentalisation of this issue. In particular, Turkey’s benevolent attitude can be explained by Turkey’s early opposition to Assad in the Syrian conflict and its wish to play a role in the post-conflict reconstruction of Syria, as well as by its willingness to extract material and symbolic benefits from the European Union. But the refugee crisis also matters at the level of domestic politics, where different political parties (in power or in the opposition) seem to have used the refugee issue opportunistically, at the expense of a climate favorable to Syrians’ healthy integration in Turkey

Laetitia Bucaille

Palestine: From an untraceable State to an impossible nation. What purpose do Palestinian leaders serve?
Oct 2016
Conflict resolution, Democratization, Governance, Israel, Middle East, Palestine, Peace / Peacekeeping, Politics / Political Systems, Sovereignty, State, Territory, Violence, Wars / Conflicts, Les études du CERI

Today, the creation of a Palestinian state appears to be a distant possibility: the international community rejected to manage the issue, and the leadership in these territories weakened because of its divisions, revealing their inability to advance. Both the political and the territorial partition between the Gaza strip, governed by the Hamas and the West Bank, under Palestinian authority in line with Fatah, reveal a profound crisis that questions the very contours of Palestinian politics. It also shows that Hamas’ integration in the political game made it impossible to pursue the security subcontacting system. Maintaining the system avoids reconstructing the Palestinian political community, and makes it difficult to develop a strategy that moves towards sovereignty. Since October 2015, the popular and pacific resistance project has been shelved by the return of the violence against Israeli civilians. The Palestinian leadership counts on internationalization of the cause, which has shown mediocre results. Will the replacement of Mahmoud Abbas by his competitors permit to leave the rut?

Jacobo Grajales

Land, from War to Peace. Land Policies and Post-Conflict Situation in Colombia
Sep 2016
Colombia, Conflict resolution, Emerging States, Energy / Natural resources, Fight against crime and corruption, Latin America and the Caribbean, Political science, Les études du CERI

Four years after the negotiations started in Havana, 2016 marked the success of the peace talks between the Colombian government and the Farc rebels. Even if during the entire process the outcome was unclear, most political actors did not wait for the actual signature of the agreement to claim results. New public policies have been launched and in the rural and land sector the break with a violent past has been loudly dramatized. Changes conducted in the name of the consolidation of peace do however have more discreet effects. They cause an increased business of land, which risks producing exclusion and dissent in rural areas. Although it is undeniable that the post conflict agenda includes reparation policies for the victims and protection for small farmers, taking advantage of peace as an opportunity for economic development does also trigger interest for territories that are defined as new agrarian frontiers. And so, not only have the agro-industrial exploitation and the commodification of nature become legitimate, but they seem to be part of the social changes that are both made possible by peace, and desirable.

Leila Seurat

Public Order and Community Policing in Beirut. Ras Beirut Police Station as a Case Study
Jul 2016
Crime, Fight against crime and corruption, Governance, Lebanon, Middle East, NGOs / Civil society, Security policy, Sociology, State, Transnational actors, Violence, Les études du CERI

Yet there is ample literature devoted to the sociology of the police in the western world, little research focuses on Arab countries. This study tries to fill this gap by offering an ethnographic study of Ras Beirut police station, the first and the only police station in Lebanon that has been reformed according to the community policing model. The academic works focusing on the importation of this model in developing countries point out how difficult it is to implement and emphasize its negative outcomes due to the local characteristics of each country. Fragmented on a sectarian and a political ground, Lebanon remains a perfect field to explore this hypothesis. Indeed the divisions of the Lebanese state weaken the interactions between the public and the private security forces. Nevertheless, many others factors, beyond the religious and the political divisions, explain Ras Beirut’s failure. The internal dynamics at work inside the police station and the influence of the patronage networks reduce considerably the chances of its success.

avec la collaboration de Madhi Mehraeen et Ibrahim Tavalla

War, Reconstruction of the State and Invention of Tradition in Afghanistan
Afghanistan, Caucasus / Central Asia, Conflict resolution, History, Identities, NGOs / Civil society, Peace / Peacekeeping, Political order, Religions, Sociology, State, Violence, Wars / Conflicts, Anthropology, Les études du CERI

War since 1979 and the reconstruction of the state under Western tutelage since 2001 have led to a simplification of the identity of Afghan society, through an invention of ethnicity and tradition – a process behind which the control or the ownership of the political and economic resources of the country are at stake. Hazarajat is a remarkable observation site of this process. Its forced integration into the nascent Afghan state during the late nineteenth century has left a mark on its history. The people of Hazara, mainly Shi’ite, has been relegated to a subordinate position from which it got out of progressively, only by means of jihad against the Soviet occupation in the 1980s and the US intervention in 2001, at the ost of an ethnicization of its social and political consciousness. Ethnicity, however, is based on a less communitarian than unequal moral and political economy. Post-war aid to state-building has polarized social relations, while strengthening their ethnicization: donors and NGOs remain prisoners of a cultural, if not orientalist approach to the country that they thereby contribute to “traditionalize”, while development aid destabilizes the “traditional” society by accelerating its monetization and commodification.

Looking into Eurasia - A review of 2015: the year in politics
Feb 2016
Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Caucasus / Central Asia, Demography, Economic transactions, Economy, Energy / Natural resources, European Union, Europeanization, Georgia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Middle East, Migrations, Nationalism, Political economy, Political science, Regional integration, Religions, Russia, Russian Federation, Sovereignty, State, Tajikistan, Terrorism, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan, Western Europe, Les études du CERI

"Looking into Eurasia" provides some keys to understand the events and phenomena that have left their imprint on a region that has undergone major mutation since the fall of the Soviet Union in 1991: the post-soviet space. With a cross-cutting approach that is no way claims to be exhaustive, this study seeks to identify the key drivers, the regional dynamics and the underlying issues at stake.

Denise Fisher

One Among Many: Changing Geostrategic Interests and Challenges for France in the South Pacific
Dec 2015
Australia, Colonization/Decolonization, Oceania, Political economy, Political science, Les études du CERI

France, which is both an external and resident South Pacific power by virtue of its possessions there, pursues, or simply inherits, multiple strategic benefits. But the strategic context has changed in recent years. China's increased presence; consequent changes in the engagement of the US, Japan and Taiwan; and the involvement of other players in the global search for resources, means that France is one of many more with influence and interests in a region considered by some as a backwater. These shifts in a way heighten the value of France's strategic returns, while impacting on France's capacity to exert influence and pursue its own objectives in the region. At the same time, France is dealing with demands for greater autonomy and even independence from its two most valuable overseas possessions on which its influence is based, New Caledonia and French Polynesia. How it responds to these demands will directly shape the nature of its future regional presence, which is a strategic asset.

Dilek Yankaya

Industrial Exhibition, Network Production and Construction of Imaginaries : the International Müsiad Fair and Representations of the Turkish State
Nov 2015
Balkans, Political science, Sociology, Turkey, Les études du CERI

Müsiad International Fair held in Istanbul in 2014 aroused great public interest due to the strong presence of political elites as well as to the mobilization of a large network of institutions, firms and media partners. International exhibitions are relevant fields to explore the formation of trade circuits and the creation of sociabilities, as well as to question the political and international issues central to the construction of trade networks and markets. This event appears as the representation of the Turkish state as it is formed under the AKP power. We witness a double trend of reconfiguration and of internationalization of the state constituting processes through the phenomena of increased interactions between private enterprise and public action on one side and the shrinkage of patronage networks on the other. Participating to this event therefore becomes a question of legitimization and delegitimization for private actors regarding these networks of power, the production of which is based on the presentation of economic and industrial productions and goes together with the creation of Imaginaries. The ethnographic study of the fair shows how industrial, cultural and symbolic representations bring about the production of two types of Imaginary, one related to the reinvention of the idea of the ummah across merchant networks and the other referring to the supremacy of Turkey as the carrier of this project.