Didier Fassin

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President Emmanuel Macron of France sang the national anthem at a campaign event at the Paris La Defense Arena on April 2. Ludovic Marin/Agence France-Presse — Getty Images

In 2017, Emmanuel Macron was “a meteor born under a lucky star”. A former banker without experience in elective office, he benefited during his first presidential campaign from President François Hollande choosing not to seek re-election, while the conservative candidate and front-runner, François Fillon, faced an embezzlement charge.

In 2022, the planets appeared to align once more, this time on account of international circumstances rather than national dynamics. As president of the European Union since January, Mr. Macron has enhanced his status as a legitimate interlocutor with Vladimir Putin, even if his attempts to end the Russian invasion of Ukraine have been unsuccessful.…  Seguir leyendo »

Éric Zemmour announces his candidacy for the 2022 presidential election in a video broadcast on social media, Paris, 30 November 2021. Photograph: Thomas Samson/AFP/Getty Images

On 17 November, the far-right journalist and polemicist Éric Zemmour went on trial in Paris on charges of incitement to racial hatred. In September 2020, he had said on the French news broadcaster CNews that unaccompanied foreign minors were “thieves, they’re murderers, they’re rapists, that’s all they are. We must send them back”. He did not appear at the trial and was represented by his lawyers, who said the charges were unfounded. The verdict is expected to be delivered next year.

Zemmour has previously been convicted of incitement to racial hatred and religious hatred and been tried and acquitted in several other cases.…  Seguir leyendo »

Amid the crises of the last year, certain members of Emmanuel Macron’s government have managed to identify a new threat to French society: “Islamo-leftism”. During a recent interview, the French minister of higher education, Frédérique Vidal, declared that “Islamo-leftism corrupts all of society, and universities are not impervious”. She criticised “radical” academics for always “looking at everything through the prism of their will to divide”, and announced that she would be requesting an investigation into university research on these subjects. While the meaning of the term is elusive, the political intent behind Vidal’s statement was clear. “Islamo-leftism”, which Vidal has associated with research on race, gender and social class, is indicative of a broader culture war that is sweeping both the political and academic establishment in France.…  Seguir leyendo »

L’élection de Donald Trump à la présidence des Etats-Unis a non seulement consterné une grande partie du monde intellectuel, médiatique et politique de ce pays et du reste du monde, mais elle l’a désemparée. A l’indignation s’est ajoutée l’incompréhension. Pour décrypter l’événement, la plupart des commentateurs ont cherché à analyser le vote, c’est-à-dire à la fois le profil et les motivations de l’électorat du nouveau président. On a ainsi tantôt privilégié la dimension économique et sociale, en mettant en avant la frustration des milieux ouvriers blancs déclassés de la «Rust Belt» victimes de la désindustrialisation et de la mondialisation, tantôt invoqué la dimension culturelle et raciale, en soulignant le ressentiment de la population conservatrice du Midwest et du Sud à l’égard de minorités incarnées par la présence d’un Afro-Américain à la Maison Blanche qui bousculaient l’ordre symbolique de la société états-unienne.…  Seguir leyendo »

Quelques jours après des élections décrites et vécues comme un coup de tonnerre, la normalisation est en cours aux Etats-Unis. Alors que le pays vient d’élire pour président un homme d’affaires agressif et versatile qui a tenu des propos sexistes, racistes et xénophobes, veut déporter les 11 millions d’étrangers en situation irrégulière et les 3 millions de musulmans vivant sur le territoire, entend réhabiliter la torture et criminaliser l’avortement, bénéficie du soutien du Ku Klux Klan et de Vladimir Poutine, et a déclaré vouloir faire incarcérer sa rivale Hillary Clinton s’il est élu, journalistes, experts et politiques des deux camps appellent désormais à l’unité derrière le futur chef de l’Etat.…  Seguir leyendo »