Welcome

Dominique Schnapper

Of Democracy in France

What should we think of democracy in France today? How do the connections between individuals and the groups to which they belong, whether national, ethnic, professional, or religious, fit into the idea of a common future? Because these questions have been asked of our democracy for more than thirty years, and because we have not been able to prevent political debates from skewing them, it is time to step back and start at the beginning. This book invites us to do just that.

It all started in the 1970s, during which D. Schnapper dealt before anyone else with the themes that are today at the center of public debate: the malaise of immigrant populations; intercommunity violence; unemployment; the place of Islam; one’s relationship to the Republic and to the nation. Schnapper’s book highlights the originality of an approach that asserts that the sociological approach is there to confront theories with reality. Thus at a time when ideologues at every turn invoke “identity” and sing the praises of an absolute multiculturalism, D. Schnapper patiently weaves the threads of the relationship to the Other and a thinking of citizenship. From racism to multiculturalism, from the integration of Jewish or Muslim populations to the wearing of the veil and secularism, from the status of individuals to the challenging of our institutions, no question is evaded and all are broached with the same intellectual and moral rigor.