Questions de recherche

Questions de rechercheTextes scientifiques à caractère exploratoire issus d’une recherche en cours (réflexions théoriques, discussion de concepts, méthodologie, études de terrain…). La collection vise à faciliter une première diffusion des travaux et permettre aux auteurs de tirer profit des commentaires et critiques. Elle est publiée sous format électronique sur ce site

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Simon Bulmer

New Perspectives on EU-Member State Relationships
January 2002

This paper aims to review the "state of the art" for examining EU-member state relations. It recognises first of all that EU-member state relationships are interactive. Member states are key actors in making EU policy, and their role in this process is central to policy-making studies. However, European integration has an important impact upon the member states: the phenomenon that has come to be termed Europeanization. We review the literatures concerned with these two directions of flow: the analytical issues raised and the theoretical perspectives deployed. We then turn to the empirical literature on EU-member state relationships, and how it operationalises the theoretical literatures (if at all). This empirical literature tends to be organised in two ways: individual or comparative studies of member states' relationships with the EU; or studies of the impact of the EU on types of political actor/institution or on policy areas/sectors. We review both these literatures. On the basis of the identified strengths and weaknesses in the different literatures examined, we suggest a research agenda for future theoretical and empirical work.

John Crowley

The Adjudication of Ethnic Claims
November 2001

Multiculturalism is, among other things, a normative framework for addressing claims made by ethnic political actors in liberal democratic states. It offers principles for deciding which of these claims are acceptable, which unacceptable, and which imperative on grounds of justice. The practical application of such principles to particular cases is what is called here adjudication, whether or not it has a judicial character. The argument of the paper is that a tendency to frame adjudication solely in normative terms, with reference to idealised eth-nic claims and idealised political processes, has led many contributors to multicultural literature, including some of the most influential, to misstate the problems, and therefore to offer solutions of dubious re-le-vance. The reason for the normative focus is, understandably enough, to avoid conflating justice with a balance of interests in pluralist bargaining. What is lost by such an approach, however, is the thickness of the political so-ci-o-logy of ethnic claims, which goes hand in hand with the institutional thickness of their adjudication. A crucial aspect of this is the sociologically inadequate conception of culture characteristic of normative multiculturalism, as a result of which it is often difficult to apply empirically to the very con-texts multicultural theorists are mainly concerned with. The at-tempt to find substantive principles for the adjudication of ethnic claims that might be independent from prac-tical politics, in-clu-ding empirical power relations, is ultimately unsuccessful.

Denis-Constant Martin

Politics Behind The Mask: Studying Contemporary Carnivals in Political Perspective, Theoretical and Methodological Suggestions
November 2001

Carnivals are a type of rite of renewal where mask and laughter spur the invention of highly symbolic modes of expression. They offer opportunities for the study of social representations and, since they are both recurring and changing, they constitute a ground where not only social change can be assessed, but where the meanings of social change can be best understood. The first part of this paper reviews and discusses theories of carnival, in particular those related to its relationship to power and social hierarchies. The second part proposes a few methodological suggestions for the study of carnival from a political perspective, emphasizing semiotic analysis and surveys using non-directive methods.

"Injustes" sanctions : les constructions internationales de la dénonciation des embargos et l'escalade de la vertu abolitionniste
November 2001

At a time when the use of sanctions has intensified considerably, criticism directed at embargos is gaining ground. In interpreting this significant rise in opposition, this article shows how and why mobilization against sanctions has developed, what sort of actors are involved and what forms it takes. This research brings to light the formation of networks and coalitions against both unilateral and multilateral measures. It underlines the role, status and scope of those whose business it is to fashion norms, by questioning the main analytical categories their strategies are usually based on. An expertise in embargo assessment, destined to levy judgment on a type of very specific violence, is developing in both national and transnational public spaces. This research, analyzing the emergence of this expertise, sheds light on the development of a conception of unjust sanctions and identifies the mechanisms of its construction on an international scale. This text in particular underlines the importance of traditions of just war, especially their reinterpretation by actors on the international scene and its moral norm- makers. Considering the development of these standards allows us to grasp one of the most decisive aspects of the use of force in the post-cold war world, as well as the establishment of certain international reforms.