Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Reinventing Democracy

La République des Idées is organizing a colloquium on the theme "Réinventer la Démocratie," which will take place in Grenoble on May 8, 9, and 10. I'll be there for all three days and will speak (about democracy in America) on Saturday morning May 9. It would be a pleasure to meet any of you readers who may be able to make it to Grenoble for what promises to be a very interesting event, about which I'm sure I'll have occasion to blog for the benefit of those who can't make it.

I note that executives of the Caterpillar plant in Grenoble, who had been held hostage by workers upset about their severance package, have been released, and negotiations with the company have resumed. A conference about the future of democracy in this morose social climate should be very interesting indeed.

1 comment:

MYOS said...

If these employees take hostages, it's because their employers refuse to negotiate AND because (simply put) it works.
So the state of democracy, I'm not sure, but the state of negotiation is certainly in bad shape when simply sitting around a table is seen was vain. On the other hand, I see why some employees would be wary of promises "negotiated": Didn't President Sarkozy go to Gandrange and promise to save it? A friend of mine who lives in that area sent me a "death notice" and specified that if "Sarko" (no more titles for him, when a year ago the workers stillbelieved in him in spite of the distateful joke they'd taken as a slap in the face) decides to come back, he'd be welcomed "avec des boulons". Picture rice flowing on the newlywed, turned to hard, heavy steel.

Will you publish the paper you present (can't go to Grenoble)?

Found these two articles this morning, in relation to the state of French democracy:
http://www.arretsurimages.net/vite-dit.php#id3889
http://blogs.rtl.fr/aphatie/index.php/post/2009/04/02/Les-principes-ne-pas-oublier-les-principes-02/04