This page describes my research plan for the next years (2022-2025)

My research focuses on the contemporary debate about pluralism in North American and European societies, and the construction of ideologies in a minority context.

My research plan is consisting of three strands.

Ethos of Autonomism

Autonomism is not a new concept. Although the most part of autonomist parties are also sub-state nationalist parties, I would highlight that autonomism differs ideologically more and more than nationalism. To demonstrate my thesis, I would like to sketch a state of autonomism to design a comprehensive map of political variations between autonomist and secessionist parties, and among them. This research aims to transcend autonomy claim such as a mere political stance or political strategy. As Michel Freeden about nationalism, I refute the doxa that conceives autonomism as a full “ideology” to perceive autonomism more than an ethos.

I will divide this first strand in two work packages:

  • WK1 – Autonomism Empirical Research

With a comparative approach of autonomist parties, I will analyze the political stances and the political strategies to underline autonomism’s features, similarities and differences between autonomist parties and secessionist ones, and among them.

  • WK2 – Autonomism Theoretical Research

With the outcomes from the WK1, I will demonstrate the assumption of an ethos is more relevant than the ideology to qualify autonomism. This WK will bring together a series of scattered deliverables into one and coherent monography.

Federalism Theory

France is perceived as the archetype of a centralized and a homogeneous nation-state. However, the resilience of minority nationalisms in Alsace, Brittany, or Corsica refutes the national narrative, as well as decentralization is a long-term trend which invalidates partially the stereotype. If the narrative of centralized state is hegemonic in France where Jacobinism plays the role of political culture, a dissenting federalist ideal has always struggled the model of unitary state. From the federalist party during French Revolution named the “Girondins” to the precursor of anarchism Pierre-Joseph Proudhon, federalism was continuously debated in France. In contemporary times, the federalist ideal remains into some political movements like mutualism, social-liberalism, ecologism, Christian democracy, and the “integral nationalism” from Charles Maurras that is popular for a part of current far-right. Those movements reanimate it every time the nature of state’s institutions is questioned such as the European integration debate, or the decentralization and the local authorities’ autonomy debate. Because French federalism generates a rich – but understudied – sources, it seems relevant to describe it as a whole. However, and except a brilliant article of Ralph Nelson in 1975, the academic literature in English is not that extensive.

I will divide this second strand in two work packages:

  • WK3 – History of French Federalism

I will explore the construction of the French Federalism through several historical debates serving as milestones, and the contemporary controversies that renew the federalist ideal.

  • WK4 – Federalism as Radicalism

I will analyze a phenomenon that occurs in France and other countries where Federalism is claimed by left and right radical groups. This empirical study aims to demonstrate those radical groups participate to create a radical federalism.

Diversity in the New Left

To the historical divisions that oppose idealistic and rationalist, anti-statist and statist, revolutionary and reformist currents, monism and pluralism is an important cleavage that contributes to determine left wing ideology. Socialism postulates that individuals are always reduced to their social class in a capitalist system since this system is based on the exploitation of the dominated by the dominant. Moreover, certain collective affiliations – such as cultures, ethnic groups, nations or religions – participate to this domination. According to this perspective, socialism is more or less receptive to the recognition of collective affiliations. To be precise, it oscillates between a monism that perceives the individual solely through the prism of his or her social class and aspires to unite the dominated in order to fight against the dominant, and a pluralism deemed emancipatory in the face of the bourgeois ideology and its corollary: imperialism. This underscores the many ideological contradictions within socialism and its currents. The perception of ethnocultural diversity and the construction of under-represented groups as a target population in the today-socialism allow to understand political stances in the new left and its political divisions.

I will divide this third strand in two work packages:

  • WK5 – Ethnocultural Diversity Question in the New Left

This is an old question for socialism that is renewed with the contemporary controversies in Western democracies. I will observe political stances from several socialist parties and opinion leaders in North America, Europe, and Middle East to compare them in order to find a pattern.

  • WK6 – The Comrade and the Other

In Marxism some nations as Poland or Ireland have been considered as proletarian nations deserving independence towards Tsarism and Imperialism, whereas others were perceived as counter revolutionary into the same political context. This contradiction still exists in the New Left where certain groups are recognized as suffering, deserving then recognition and representation, whereas others are omitted or neglected. Hence, I will analyze diversity through the social construction of deserving target populations.