Sunday, August 16, 2015

Fwd: France

'In A Divided Republic: Nation, State and Citizenship in Contemporary France, Emile Chabal, currently a chancellor's fellow in history at the University of Edinburgh, proposes that we look beyond the policy arena to the political culture. What he sees there is an opposition between two traditions, one "republican" and statist in orientation, the other "liberal" and focused on civil society. (American readers may be amused, not to say confused, by the association of "republican" with strong central government and "liberal" with society and the market.) Republicans, in Chabal's telling, insist that citizens must abandon all "particularistic" allegiances (pertaining to religion, ethnicity, and economic interest) when they enter the "universalistic" public arena. For republicans, the state shapes culture and society, especially through the public schools. By contrast, liberals accord primacy to civil society in shaping the state. Republicanism, as we will see, is therefore hostile to multiculturalism, whereas liberalism tolerates and even encourages it…'

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