The Centre for the Study of Democracy and the Institute for Modern and Contemporary Culture invites Ninon Grangé (University Paris 8/LLCP) for the first cycle of the seminar series “French Politics: A Neighbour’s ‘History of the Present’”, entitled “An Authoritarian Spiral in France?”

Ninon Grangé's paper is titled: "The State and the Exception: Existence, Fiction, and Reality.

Seminar series “French Politics: A Neighbour’s ‘History of the Present’” invites Ninon Grangé

The recent evolution of the state of emergency in France and the confusion between war on terrorism and social repression have required that we define the state of exception anew. The structure of the so-called “as if” (“as if we were at war”) seems to have pervaded our representations and our laws. Thus, the traditional challenges faced by the state (État), ie its preservation and the risk to collapse, have to be made more complex. The reality of the state should not be mistaken with its existence: it relies on a dialectical relation between power and powerlessness, on the one hand, and on belief and imagination, on the other hand. Through the study of contemporary French politics, the issue of political fictionalism will therefore be tackled.

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.


Room UG.05, 309 Regent Street, W1B 2HW, London

Contact for more information

    Emmanuel Jouai
    [email protected]