Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Boutin Organizes the 21st Century

Christine Boutin is in Washington. Although she renounced her salary last month after being criticized for accepting the gift of a sinecure in exchange, allegedly, for not running against Sarkozy in 2012, she has set herself an ambitious goal: organizing the 21st century, no less.

Elle doit encore rencontrer des experts mercredi, ainsi qu'une représentante de l'administration Obama. "Ce n'est pas seulement une question économique et financière, c'est une question de civilisation : comment va-t-on organiser le XXIe siècle ? Va-t-on intégrer [à la gestion des affaires économiques] une dimension sociale et humaine ?", s'est interrogée Christine Boutin dans un entretien avec des journalistes dans la capitale américaine.

Yes, the "politics of civilization" is back. This was Henri Guaino's phrase for the new measures of governmental success introduced by the Sen-Stiglitz-Fitoussi Commission. Some of my best friends have also devoted considerable thought to the question of what constitutes a successful society (see the book pictured to the left). Christine Boutin may be reinventing the wheel, but once she hammers it into shape, she has several well-blazed trails she can try rolling it down. Presumably it will do no harm if a politician actually pays attention to what academics are saying.

4 comments:

SocProf said...

1. What book pictured to the left? Can you tell what the book is?

2. Coming from Christine Boutin, the civilization part means conservative Christian civilization, of course. The human and social dimensions, for her, do not include reproductive rights for women or equal rights for gays.

Arthur Goldhammer said...

Peter Hall and Michèle Lamont, eds. "Successful Societies."

SocProf said...

Great, thanks. I just kindled it (is that a verb?).

Arthur Goldhammer said...

Only if you set it on fire. But can you really not see the icon-link to the book on Amazon?