Friday, July 30, 2010


President Sarkozy seems nostalgic for the days when he was interior minister and tough talk was enough to keep attention focused on him. He's certainly talking tough: expulsions, revocations of nationality, "la nationalité française se mérite," etc. And the election is still almost two years away.


Anonymous said...

Either he means that some French people could lose their citizenship and thus have none.
Or he means that someone who acquired French ctizenship as an adult could get it taken away for criminal actions.

so, if your parents or grandparents were born outside of France and you're a criminal, you're not worthy of being French. But if your *great* grand parents were born outside of France, or in an area known as France, it's okay to be a French criminal?
Where do you stop?

I'm sorry to say this, because there have been so many exagerations about Sarkozy, but it does not sound like a democracy's policy.

James Conran said...

What exactly does it mean, in a republic which refuses even to gather statistics on the ethnic composition of its population, to be "of foreign origin"? Surely one is either a citizen, equally with all other citizens, or one is not.

To say that a citizen whose parents were not citizens can more easily have citizenship withdrawn than a "francais de souche" is to say that the citizenship of all such "first generation citizens" are second class citizens.

FrédéricLN said...

Yes, it's quite absurd if projected in the sphere of law. (The mother and grandmother just convicted of killing 8 (of her own) children seems to be a "French since generations". Mr Sarkozy did not travel to her home to make this speech, but to Grenoble, where the only person killed was a robber.)

But Mr Sarkozy's battle happens in the sphere of mental representations - namely of TV images and TV sounds.

I would link that to Philippe d'Iribarne's interpretations of the French society ("La logique de l'honneur", "L'étrangeté française") : "nationalité" (citizenship), the French language, and a full observance of French implicit honor codes, are simultaneously expected from anyone pretends to be French. And who is therefore imagined as an non-French-ex-ante person.

In the following sentence (L'étrangeté française, Seuil 2006, p. 268), the undefined "on" or "il faut" seems to refer simultaneously to the general opinion, the shared mood of people and the legal framework. On the other hand, immigrants and the people with immigrant (grand-)parents are grouped into a kind of non-French-ex-ante category:

"Plus l'on veut ... que tous se mêlent et soient solidaires sans souci de leurs origines, plus il faut admettre que les nouveaux venus et leurs descendants doivent adopter, au-delà du respect des lois, les usages du pays d'accueil, quel que soit le coût que représente pour eux un tel changement de repères. ... Il est normal que la pression sociale nourrisse une telle évolution, et l'école se doit d'y contribuer".

Bad translation, please check and correct (Art!)

"The more one expects all get together and behave as one society, without any regard to their origins, the more we should recognize that newcomers and their descendants must observe more that the laws: the customs of the welcoming country; whatever it costs them to change their benchmarks that much. ... That the social pressure pushes such a change is normal, and it's the school's duty to contribute."

Anonymous said...

Have you seen this? Harrowing: