Avec Le Bon Gouvernement, Pierre Rosanvallon, professeur au Collège de France, poursuit l’analyse de l’évolution des systèmes démocratiques qu’il a engagée il y a 40 ans et à laquelle il a donné une inflexion décisive au cours de la dernière décennie, notamment à travers quelques titres clefs : La Contre-démocratie (2006), La Légitimité démocratique (2008) et La Société des égaux (2011) . À ses yeux, le modèle démocratique traditionnel a définitivement rencontré ses limites à l’âge de ...
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Having overcome the two bloodiest totalitarianisms in its history, Nazism and the Soviet dictatorship, Europe –and the West more broadly– seemed in a position in the early 1990s to promote a new international order based on fundamental rights and human freedoms. Unfortunately, as Robert Toulemon stresses here, what has ensued has been a form of global anarchy, manifesting itself in ways that affect most countries in the world directly or indirectly.
Yet, democracy and the defence of human freedoms are objectives that seem increasingly attuned to the desires of the great majority of the world’s peoples. In fact, it is the failure of the Western powers –beginning with the EU– to agree on this agenda and gear themselves to its advancement that has proved crucial. Hence the call formulated here by Robert Toulemon for these values to be asserted and for the construction of a “global democratic order” that could express itself in a genuine foreign and European security policy worthy of the name –and also in a transformation of the Atlantic alliance into an entity that is more political than geographical. This is a call for a “cultural revolution” and for a renewal of multilateralism that could, as Toulemon argues, seize on the challenge of climate change to be its new testing ground.
Le lundi 12 octobre 2015 s'est déroulée à Futuribles International une table ronde, introduite par Pascal Perrineau, sur « Les démocraties occidentales face à la montée des extrémismes ». II répondait aux questions d'Hugues de Jouvenel quelques minutes avant cette table ronde.
Ce rapport est le premier de la Délégation à la prospective et à l’évaluation des politiques publiques du CESE. Il a pour objectif de présenter des pistes exploratoires quant à la manière d’aborder la démocratie à l’horizon 2030. Il se divise en trois parties : la première dresse le constat d’un désenchantement de la démocratie, la deuxième décrit trois « scénarios du pire » pour la démocratie à l’horizon 2030 et, enfin, la troisième partie offre des pistes ...
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This article, which draws on the Values studies regularly conducted in Europe, aims to compare Europeans’ political values through their positioning on a Left-Right scale, and their development between 1990 and 2008, and also to analyse the underlying values that go furthest to explaining this positioning. Raul Magni Berton begins by presenting the Left/Right split in the various countries surveyed, as it emerges from the self-positioning of individuals (or their refusal to position themselves), highlighting, among other things, the relative stability of this split in the various countries, the importance it retains in Western Europe and a mild “leftward” trend in Europe.
The author then analyses 11 value conflicts that are likely to explain the political positioning of individuals: attitude to equality, moral progressivism/conservatism, state/market, attitude to law-and-order, nationalism/universalism, solidarity/individualism, attitude to work, degree of materialism, authoritarianism/criticism, attitude to religion, and sexism/sexual equality. Drawing on the observed correlations between these values and the political positioning of individuals, Raul Magni Berton shows, among other things, that religious values are less and less predictive of political standpoints in Western Europe, whereas those relating to egalitarianism, the state and law-and-order play an increasing role. On the other hand, very few significant correlations can be seen in Eastern Europe, which shows the major importance of the –both political and historical– context, and somewhat undermines the idea that the notions of Left and Right are universal in character. This is also confirmed by the country-by-country analysis of differences proposed at the end of the article.
En Tunisie, la révolution du 14 janvier 2011 a soulevé beaucoup d’espoirs auprès de ceux qui ont scandé les mots d’ordre « liberté » et « dignité ». Plus d’un an après, les évolutions à venir du pays restent marquées par de grandes incertitudes caractérisées par la cohabitation d’une majorité islamiste et d’une société civile jalouse de ses libertés.
C’est le 10 mai prochain que les Algériens se déplaceront aux urnes pour élire une nouvelle Assemblée populaire nationale (APN). Initialement prévue en juin voire pour l’automne, cette élection législative a été annoncée début février par Abdelaziz Bouteflika lors d’un discours radiotélévisé. Le président algérien a précisé que le scrutin se déroulerait en un seul tour tandis que, quelques jours plus tard, un conseil des ministres décidait que le nombre de députés de l’APN passerait de ...
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It was just over a year ago that the popular revolts in Tunisia and Egypt began which were to lead to the fall of the two major authoritarian regimes in North Africa and cause other peoples (the Libyans and the Syrians) to rise up in turn against the dictatorships in place there. Much was expected of that “Arab Spring”, supported as it was by various European countries (including France) – not least the establishment of genuine democracies in the countries concerned. However, democracy cannot be established by decree and democratic elections may bring to power leaders who are not greatly inclined to respect it. Is this what we are in danger of seeing in the countries of the southern Mediterranean, where the first democratic votes seem to be paving the way for Islamic regimes that might radicalize to a degree that is as yet unclear?
Jean-François Drevet raises that question here, briefly examining the situation of those Arab countries with links to the European Union and the prospects for the Islamists of developing their influence in those countries. Lastly, he shows how the new political situation in that region could change the Union’s diplomatic relations with those countries and particularly how the Union could attempt to forestall excessively radical developments.
The popular uprising in Syria began almost a year ago in the wake of the wave of hope produced by the “Arab springs” in Egypt, Tunisia and Libya. But the Syrian government is a hardier beast than its North African counterparts. Possessing armed and administrative services still very loyal to president Bashar al-Assad, it bloodily represses the regular demonstrations of opponents calling for regime change. The international community, including the Arab League, has been trying for months to put pressure on Bashar al-Assad to end this repression and give way to some popular demands. Nothing has come of this. In this context, what might the prospects be for this country, whose role and influence remain central in the Middle East?
Olivier Marty examines the question, beginning with the salient features of the current regime: the legacy of Hafez al-Assad, attempts at internal modernization, and a stifled society with no room left for manoeuvre in a context of growing communal tension. He goes on to demonstrate how Syria has positioned itself over time internationally – and, particularly, in terms of its alliances – and to show its still essential role in that highly troubled region of the Middle East. Lastly, Olivier Marty sketches out what the scenarios might be for overcoming the crisis in Syria, though here he inclines more towards the view that the situation is likely to deteriorate (on account, among other things, of the difficulties the international community would have in intervening militarily), with the bolstering of financial sanctions and political support for the opposition. In this connection, he specifies the roles of the various states involved in the management of the crisis – Turkey, Russia, Europe, USA etc.
If, as this article suggests, there is still a high risk of political stalemate, let us hope for the sake of Syrian civilians that it does not last long.
Le processus électoral a été entamé en Égypte, le 12 octobre 2011, par l’ouverture des candidatures aux parlementaires. Le processus révèle une réelle complexification du champ politique égyptien et se déroule dans un contexte gouvernemental fortement controversé. Le chaos sécuritaire, la persistance des problèmes sociaux et économiques, et le manque de conscience politique en toile de fond représentent des défis qui alourdissent les doutes sur l’avenir. Un tableau qui mérite cependant d’être nuancé.
The re-election in June 2011 of prime minister Recep Tayyip Erdo?an in Turkey, confirmed the rootedness in Turkish society of the AKP, the Islamic party that has commanded a majority in the country since 2002. It has to be said that the “Turkish model”, so often advocated by Western countries in the 20th century, has undergone major development and is arousing growing attention on the part of Turkey’s Arab neighbours. Given the geopolitical upheavals affecting North Africa and the Middle East for almost a year now, can this non-Arab border-nation between East and West, with its secular, democratic state led by an Islamic party enjoying broad popular support, become a source of regional inspiration ?
Jean Marcou examines this question within the framework of the series of articles on the Mediterranean initiated by Futuribles in 2011. He begins by reminding us how much the image of Turkey has changed in less than a century, with the “Turkish model” evolving from that of a modernized, secular Muslim country – which, despite a relatively flimsy layer of democracy and the domination of politics by the army, became an ally of the West – into a democracy asserting its Muslim identity and exercising an independent diplomacy. This has been a course of development that has left the country no longer an estranged “brother” to its Arab neighbours, but a power with renewed autonomy vis-à-vis the West and an example that might inspire those countries which have just emancipated themselves from the yoke of dictators. Quite clearly, as Jean Marcou reminds us, a number of internal ambiguities and difficulties remain, beginning with the Kurdish question, but the former “Sick Man of Europe” has undoubtedly become a key actor again in this region that stands the crossroads of Africa, Europe and Asia.
Le 1er juillet 2011, les Marocains ont approuvé par référendum le projet de constitution qui leur était proposé. Cette réforme constitutionnelle se veut une réponse aux mécontentements qui s’expriment au Maroc depuis plusieurs mois. Il est cependant fort probable qu’elle ne suffise pas à mettre fin aux revendications.
Legislative elections in Turkey will be held in mid-June 2011. In this article Didier Billion and Bastien Alex present the political context, the parties in contention and the main issues involved. They remind us of the process of democratization that has been underway since the AKP (“Justice and Development Party”, the majority Islamic party since 2002) has been in power, against a background of polarizing tensions with the army (which has traditionally underpinned secularism and the Kemalist principles on which the Turkish republic has been based since its creation in 1923). They stress also the weakening of the political role of the military and the deep rootedness of the AKP in Turkish society. And, in spite of the substantial debates driving the electoral campaign (on constitutional reform or the question of membership of the European Union, for example), June’s ballot should, barring surprises, end with the AKP being re-elected as the Turkish government.
It remains to be seen, among other things, whether, on the one hand – given something of a move to the radical right in its discourse and certain actions that pose questions about the respect for human rights within the country – the AKP will continue the process it has initiated for meeting European demands for democratization and, on the other, the Turks will maintain their resolve to join a European Union that is currently trying their patience in the “antechamber” to accession.
The handover of the presidency of the European Union from Belgium to Hungary in January 2011 caused something of a stir. The Hungarian government, challenged over the passing of a law that is widely regarded as suppressing freedom, was emphatically called to account on the question of human rights and democratic principles – something rare in “internal” EU politics.
As Jean-François Drevet shows here, Hungary’s assumption of the presidency of the Union in this context raises three important questions: what is the role of the six-monthly presidencies in a 27-member Union that now has a President of the European Council and a High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security? How can the Union enforce respect for human rights and democracy within the member states? And can a country pass a law that applies to the members of the nation specified in that law (which is, hence, likely to apply beyond its borders)? This column examines these three questions and points up the various related issues.
La participation des Français à la vie politique est loin d’être aussi négligeable qu’on le croit généralement, mais elle évolue sensiblement, notamment en se désinstitutionnalisant. Internet va dans le sens de cette évolution : il favorise la multiplication des modes de participation, de mobilisation et d’engagement, et aide puissamment au développement d’une politisation en réseau. L’organisation politique traditionnelle, fortement hiérarchisée, doit impérativement évoluer pour faire face à ces changements. Mais au-delà des partis et mouvements politiques ...
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Face à la mondialisation croissante, donc à la montée des interdépendances et à la crise à la fois financière, économique, sociale et écologique actuelle, une véritable gouvernance mondiale paraît urgente. Or, l’Organisation des Nations Unies, dont les 192 pays membres disposent chacun d’une voix de poids égal, semble impuissante à prendre des décisions efficaces. Les initiatives récentes de « G7 » ou de « G20 » sont encore « en gestation incertaine », selon les termes d’Hugues de Jouvenel. La situation a vraisemblablement ...
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Democracy, which has until now proved to be the only political system with long-term viability, is, nonetheless, not a perfect regime or “miracle solution”. With this in mind, Kimon Valaskakis highlights the weaknesses of the system for Futuribles readers and analyses the four myths associated with what he calls “false democracy” — the currently predominant, but superficial version of the democratic ideal.
In the author’s view, an awareness of these four myths — the infallibility of the people; the supremacy of direct over representative democracy; the peace-loving nature of democratic countries; and the correlation between national and global democracy — will enable nations and global organizations to be free of them and move towards a “smart, sustainable democracy”, which he presents here in broad outline.
Valaskakis insists that such a development has become essential since the beginning of the economic crisis, in order to confront ‘the growing complexity of global challenges’ and avoid backsliding toward more totalitarian regimes.
Arabs are often seen solely in terms of their Islamic identity and the religious argument is used too often to explain the misdevelopment of the Arab countries. Yet, as Pierre Blanc stresses here, to equate the Arabs with their religion is to short-circuit the analysis. In the areas of demographic trends, economic development and democratic progress, the limitations of such reasoning can be seen from the figures and from a range of counter-examples. More and more Arab countries have begun, or have even completed, their demographic transition and many of them have rates of economic growth that are the envy of their European neighbours. Admittedly, where governance is concerned there is ground still to be made up, but even some movements of political Islam (in Palestine, Lebanon and Turkey) are returning to democratic ways. Ultimately, concludes Pierre Blanc, there are no reasons for regarding Islam as the key determinant of the developments in – or the difficulties of – the Arab region.
On 7 June 2009, the French - like the other citizens of Europe in that same month - will be going to the polls to elect their "Euro MPs" or, in other words, their direct representatives in the European Parliament for the next five years. There is a strong possibility that the turnout will once again be very low and/or that the voting will be influenced by national rather than European issues.
This lack of interest in the European elections arises, as Jean-François Drevet shows here, out of the general attitude of French politicians, who do not exactly throng to stand as Euro MPs or who, when elected to the European Parliament, involve themselves little, or not at all, in their parliamentary activities. It is also the product of the desperate lack of information in the French media about current European political matters. As this column demonstrates, this is highly regrettable, since it contributes to further reducing the influence of France in the institutions and decisions of the European Union. And this is all the more unfortunate as the European Parliament is about to see its powers strengthened. The time seems to have come to take a fresh approach to these elections, but, for that to happen, both the candidates and the media would have to play their part.
The German sociologist Ulrich Beck is one of the leading contemporary thinkers on the question of modernity. Alongside his key studies of "risk society" in the 1980s, he has won acclaim in recent years for his thinking on globalization and its impact on modern societies. As an advocate of a political cosmopolitanism (he favours the creation of supranational institutions such as a world parliament), Beck has campaigned for a very high degree of European integration, which might serve as basis or model for a "cosmopolitan empire". He asserts this very clearly in his most recent work, co-written with Edgar Grande, which in English bears precisely this title: Cosmopolitan Empire (Cambridge: Polity, 2007). It is reviewed here by Antoine Tillie, who also casts a wider eye over Beck's earlier works (on globalization, cosmopolitanism, democracy etc.).
For more than 30 years Pierre Rosanvallon, a historian by training, has played his part in "the life of ideas" in France (La vie des idées is, in fact, the name of the website, providing analysis and information on current intellectual debates, which he directs). He has particularly dedicated his efforts in the last 15 years to the history and development of democratic institutions. Two books, published originally in 2006 and 2008 in France, afford us an insight into the changes currently affecting democracy. The first is Counter-Democracy: Politics in an Age of Distrust (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2008), which analyses the emergence of manifestations of the distrust of democracy that ultimately play their part, by the way they express themselves and the questions they raise, in redefining democratic life. The second is the as yet untranslated La Légitimité démocratique (Paris: Seuil, 2008), in which Pierre Rosanvallon studies three imperatives that have gradually come to be seen as binding upon representatives of democratic government: impartiality, "reflexivity" (which aims to ensure that the common good is taken into account) and "proximity" (which consists in paying attention to all particularities). In this article, Julien Damon analyses these two works on the changes in democracy and in the legitimacy of the bodies in which it resides.
Un sondage récent du centre Youri Lévada montre que les Russes sont de moins en moins nombreux à vouloir défendre " une démocratie sur le modèle occidental ". Le nombre de nostalgiques du régime communiste reste stable.