Didier Fassin

Didier Fassin is a professor at the Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton and at the Ecole des Hautes Etudes en Sciences Sociales in Paris.

Macron’s War

Didier Fassin, 4 July 2019

Neoliberal attitudes are what one might expect of a man who had no background in politics but networked his way through a brief career in investment banking. This was evident from the policies he implemented when he came to power: a flat tax on interest from capital and abolition of the wealth tax; a rewriting of the labour code to expand corporate power; taking away protections for railworkers; the end of inflation-indexed pensions; a cut in housing benefit for the poor; a 15-fold rise in college tuition fees for students outside the European Economic Area; the full privatisation of companies in which the state is a majority shareholder, including those that run the Paris airports. Comparisons have been made with Donald Trump’s reforms, but a better analogy is with Thatcher and Blair.

During​ his presidential campaign last year, Emmanuel Macron’s insistence that he was ‘neither left nor right’ was seen as the defining feature of his attempt to transcend old-fashioned politics. Jürgen Habermas declared that Macron ‘has dared to cross a red line untouched since 1789’ and ‘has broken apart the entrenched configuration of the two...

The state of emergency​ that François Hollande declared on 14 November, the day after 130 people were killed and more than 300 wounded by the attackers in Paris, is still in force. It’s worth noting how exceptional this situation is. Neither José María Aznar after the 2004 Madrid bombings that killed 191 people and injured 1800 nor Tony Blair after the 2005 London...

We Are All Victims Now: Trauma

Thomas Laqueur, 8 July 2010

In formal Japanese, I’m told, the word ‘trauma’ is written as a compound of two Chinese characters: one meaning ‘external’ and the other ‘injury’. Trauma...

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Saartjie Baartman’s Ghost: The New Apartheid

Hilary Mantel, 20 September 2007

Where to begin? When we tell stories about Africa we can’t speak without an imported frame of reference, carving up the years into the pre-colonial, the post-colonial era: once upon a time...

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