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Francois Cusset

Democracy, A New Idea in Europe

After 55% French voters rejected the EU constitution on May 29, the history of both France’s Fifth Republic and the 50-year old EU process is now at a turning point. Which may not be for the worse, despite warnings by French elites of a descent in hell.

The French Alternative to “No Alternative”

The showdown in Paris and other cities against the right-wing government’s First Employment Contract bill (“CPE”) turns out to be France’s largest student movement in twelve years — but joining forces with last November’s suburban rioters remains a harder task.

Bonfire of the French Vanities

The gap between the Republic’s dysfunctional universalist dogmas and a real-life suburban world at war with itself is so wide in France that a fire can spread in the middle with nothing to stop it—save a brutal Leviathan to kill the fire and erase all traces of what first sparked it.

Liberals vs. The Left:
Learning From Identity Politics

The quintessentially 1980s quarrel between radical theory and reactionary politics—or between multiculturalists and the then-rising neocons—is surely not over.


The Brooklyn Rail

SEPT 2023

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