French Republic

The lingering issue of colonialism that still shapes France

Culture-Idées

More than all other the former European imperial powers, France continues to be profoundly shaped by the issue of colonialism, which both determines its relations with the world and fashions how it sees itself. In this article written for the latest issue of the 'Revue du crieur', Mediapart's publishing editor Edwy Plenel looks at France's continuing relationship with its colonial past, a subject often suppressed by its political elites on both the Right and Left. He argues that the country's continuing reluctance to confront its imperial history has made it blind to its multiculturalism and diversity and has encouraged the renaissance of neo-fascism.

How the notion of France's long-cherished 'Republic' has been hijacked

Culture-Idées— Analysis

The word 'Republican' has a hugely positive place in the French collective memory. But recently the concept has come to be used – and abused - as a form of political shorthand to tell people to obey the rules. Mediapart's Fabien Escalona talks to French academics about the shifting meaning of the concept and how it is now cited more to protect existing privileges rather than to extend safeguards and rights to new groups.

The 'gilets jaunes' protests: the battle for equality

France— Opinion

The revolt of the 'gilets jaunes', the protesters whose symbol is their yellow hi-vis jackets, is aimed against tax injustice and arbitrary behaviour by the French state. What drives it is that which lies at the heart of of all emancipatory struggles: the demand for equality. Mediapart publishing editor Edwy Plenel argues that its political future will depend on its willingness to embrace common cause with others movements who are advocating equality for all.