By Emile Chabal

Until eventually the mid-20th century, France observed itself as a very good strength with universalist aspirations and international targets. however the moment international warfare and decolonisation irrevocably replaced France's position on the earth. regardless of makes an attempt to revive the country's 'grandeur' within the Sixties, the French were pressured to reconcile themselves to their modest position on the center of a altering Europe. What influence has this had on political lifestyles? How have the French reimagined the progressive, republican and reactionary ideologies which have been so an important to their background? How has the arriving of thousands of postcolonial migrants remodeled politics? those are only a few of the questions on the middle of France because the Seventies. With contributions from top experts on themes as assorted because the legacy of empire and neo-liberalism, it explores how the French have handled the pervasive experience of uncertainty that has turn into a defining function of latest ecu politics.

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Using Emile Durkheim as her philosophical guide, Guérard de Latour critically examines three different approaches to solidarity in contemporary French republican philosophy. First, a ‘Rousseauist’ account that emphasises transcendence, civic virtue and the need for all minorities to relinquish their identities and integrate into the nation. Second, a theory of non-domination in which the republican state seeks to elaborate rules that reduce forms of domination within society, especially where this domination relates to cultural preconceptions inherited from older forms of solidarity (such as ethnic identity).

This is far from the caricatured image of a working class in frontal collision with an embattled middle class and its vested interests. These strong class identities have now disappeared. Intra- and inter-generational mobility in the 1950s, 1960s and 1970s eroded them; class solidarity, where it existed, has fragmented or vanished altogether. And, of course, the sense of belonging to two diametrically opposed social classes has dissipated. At the start of the 2000s, a majority of French people claimed to have no attachment to a specific class.

This pessimism has developed alongside a growing uneasiness with globalisation. In a third Eurobarometer poll from May 2011, only 44 per cent of French respondents agreed that ‘globalisation is an opportunity for economic growth’, as opposed to 50 per cent of Europeans as a whole, 52 per cent of Britons, 62 per cent of Germans and 69 per cent of Dutch. In an IFOP survey from January 2011, a large majority of French people (62 per cent) believed that France is not internationally competitive, whereas only 44 per cent of Britons, 18 per cent of Germans and 17 per cent of Dutch thought the same way.

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