Francesco Ragazzi

The French government recently announced a plan to « fight against radicalization », and a series of measures aimed at preventing the passage to violence. Although the term is not entirely new to the French political language, it marks a departure from an anti-terrorism policy justified mainly by a judicial approach and enforced in great part through administrative measures. France is thus moving closer to the Netherlands and the United Kingdom, who have developed such policies since the mid-2000s. Yet what is, exactly, the « fight against radicalization »? How can we explain this new approach of the French government? And what can we learn from a decade of experiences of these two European countries? This study shows that the concept of radicalization serves as an effective discourse to legitimize police action beyond its usual areas of competence, investing many areas of diversity management such as education, religion, and social policies. The study traces the diffusion of the discourse through European institutions and analyzes, through the notion of « policed multiculturalism », the effects of its legal, administrative and preventive forms.

Samuel B. H. Faure

This article focuses on the decision-making dilemma of arms procurement policy. Why does a State decide sometimes to cooperate internationally with other States and their defense industries, to buy military goods such as jet fighters, tanks and warships, and why does it decide sometimes to not cooperate and prefers autarky? To answer this Research Question, this article brings in the form of a literature review, all the contributions in political science (almost hundred references) that explain this decisional variation. The aim is to map all explanatory models of this dilemma by testing their theoretical and methodological proposals on the case of France, to identify their main contributions and their weakness.

Julien Meimon

In the turbulent international context of the late 1950s, the French 5th Republic and its leaders orchestrated the end of the colonial system, i.e. all of its emblematic institutions: the French “Overseas” ministry and minister, the administrative corps of colonial functionaries and standard recruitment path (the École nationale de la France d’outre-mer) disappeared, setting the stage for a new, fairly complex system labeled “Coopération.” The ministry of the same name was to play a major role up until the end of the 20th century. This new system, which came about as a result of the breakup of the colonial empire, is closely related to the issue of development aid and relies essentially on civil servants having received their training in the colonial institutions and seeking for redeployment. This study analyzes the paradox of a “new policy” embodied by officials infused with a colonial culture, focusing on their reconversion in terms of deeds and discourse. This will point up one of the initial weaknesses of France’s African policy and one of the reasons that it has slowly crumbled.

Jean-François Bayart

The concept of "Thermidorian situation" finds itself in the tradition of the "authoritarian situation" (Guy Hermet) and "colonial situation" (Georges Balandier). It accounts for historical experiences of postrevolutionary regimes and their economic liberalization in the context of neo-liberal globalization. Developed from the Cambodian case, the Thermidorian comparative paradigm helps to interpret the economical and political liberalization processes in post-communist states and the establishment of their revolutionary elite into a dominating class. This interpretation does not refer to the normative and teleological terms of "transitology". Nevertheless, understanding the Thermidorian moment implies that it should not be reduced to a mere preservation of power, as an utilitarian reading of the events would imply. Indeed, it has to deal with autonomous social dynamics. Other types of post-revolutionary trajectories that are non-socialist, such as the Islamic Republic of Iran, can serve as good examples of this phenomenon. The Thermidorian paradigm takes into account a plurality of relatively homogeneous trajectories that combine into a revolutionary event, a process of institutionalization and professionalization of the latter, and of a dynamic of integration into the capitalist world economy. This concept cannot stand for an explanation, but emphasizes the specificity of the regimes that stem from a revolution and that are confronted to their own reproduction within the context of the dismantling of the socialist camp and neoliberal globalization. "Thermidorisms" have their own historicity, notably the revolution they arose from. They also have their own political economy that cannot be reduced to the imposition of the neo-liberal model. Thermidorian moments are historical experiences subjected to contingency vagaries and social struggles. As such, they are "situations" (Jean-Paul Sartre) in which the reproduction of power and liberty of actors are simultaneously at stake.

David P. Calleo

What are the challenges facing the European Union with the end of the Cold War ? Will the Union be able to meet them ? What links should it maintain with the United States ? What type of relations should be established with Russia ? 
The stakes are high: nothing less than international stability and world harmony in the next century. The challenges are of various kinds encompassing political, security, economic and institutional issues. In the first part of this study, the author analyses these challenges and argues for a European approach rid of the more unrealistic federalist ideas. In a second section he examines those states that will play major roles in Europe's future: Germany and France, within the EU, and, outside it, Russia and the United States. In doing so he attempts to evaluate Europe's ability to rise to the occasion.

Back to top