If you Praise Equal Respect, How Come You're so Intolerant? Overcoming the French Paradox

Abstract : In France, republicanism is the political tradition through which the French people interpret democratic and liberal ideals. Neverthless, by contrast with other liberal democracies, the French model of integration, based on the championing of colorblind universalism, often adopts a critical stance towards manifestations of cultural and ethnic identities. Therefore, it is often perceived as intolerant, as suggested by the numerous critics of the 2004 law banning ostentatious religious signs from state schools. As such, French republicanism seems to be paradoxically praising respect for all citizens while practicing intolerance towards members of ethnic minorities. To analyse this seeming paradox, the paper designs a typology to disentangle the different theoretical positions concerning the relationships of respect and tolerance within French republicanism. It thusly proposes to distinguish four different families (communitarian, perfectionist, pragmatic and critical republicans) and claims that the last one offers the best way to solve the French paradox.
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Soumis le : mardi 7 juin 2011 - 11:19:23
Dernière modification le : mardi 7 juin 2011 - 16:42:00


  • HAL Id : halshs-00598643, version 1



Sophie Guérard de Latour. If you Praise Equal Respect, How Come You're so Intolerant? Overcoming the French Paradox. Politics in Central Europe, 2010, 6 (3), pp.39-59. ⟨halshs-00598643⟩



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