The Centre for the Study of Democracy and the Institute for Modern and Contemporary Culture invites Eric Fassin (University Paris 8/LEGS) for the introductory session of the seminar series “French Politics: A Neighbour’s ‘History of the Present’”.

Eric Fassin's paper is titled: "Intersectional France: Sexual democracy, racial democracy, and liberal democracy"

French Politics: A Neighbour’s ‘History of the Present’” invites Eric Fassin

The political culture of France is incompatible with minority politics, whether it be in terms of gender, sexuality, or race. Or so we are told by those who claim to embody the Republican tradition – as well as, symmetrically (and paradoxically), critics of French universalism.

This presentation will argue that the recent polemics against the (so-called) “theory-of-gender,” the whole racial lexicon (race, racisé.e, racisme d’État, etc.), and the infamous “intersectionality”, are not to be understood in cultural terms (“Plus ça change, plus c’est la même chose”), but rather in historical and political terms: with new minority political actors (and actresses), even in France, “the times, they are a-changin’.”

About the seminar series

“French Politics: A Neighbour’s ‘History of the Present’” is a monthly seminar series organised by the University of Westminster (Centre for the Study of Democracy & Institute for Modern and Contemporary Culture), introducing the “crème de la crème” of French research in Social Sciences and Humanities.

This series is designed with the Foucauldian notion of “history of the present” in mind and will tackle some of the most pressing challenges of French politics and political theory today.
The series is divided into three cycles:

  • An authoritarian spiral in France?
  • French universalism vs. Alien identities?
  • Can France think of itself as postcolonial?

With kind support from the French Embassy in the UK - Higher Education Research and Innovation Department (in association with “The Borders of Identity” seminar series supported by the Funds d’Alembert 2019) and the Political Studies Association.


Fyvie Hall, 309 Regent Street, W1B 2HW, London

Contact for more information

    Emmanuel Jouai
    [email protected]