This page describes my research for the next 5 years (2021-2026).
My research focuses on the contemporary debate about pluralism in Western societies. I investigate how political and social institutions shape collective representations and practices. My work aims to understand how ideologies and political cultures evolve within hostile contexts. My methodology is inspired by constructivism and the sociology of knowledge, mixing normative and empirical methods with a strong multidisciplinary emphasis using philosophical, psychological, and sociological approaches. My current projects focus on subjects related to the degrees of context hostility: the ideological hegemony context, and national hegemony context.
For this strand, I question the hegemony of an ideology on public life and its impacts on minorized groups. I use the concept of ideological hegemony instead dominant ideology to analyze both sides of the phenomenon: the power relations and the mutual influences between groups. For the next years, I am working on two issues related to pluralism.
1. Ethos of Autonomism
Autonomism is not a new concept. Although most autonomist parties are also sub-state nationalist parties, I would highlight how and why autonomism can diverge from nationalism. To demonstrate my thesis, I will sketch a state of autonomism to have a comprehensive map of its political variations. The purpose of this research is to refute the perception of autonomism as merely a political stance or a political strategy, but an ethos; which one could fit or not with nationalism as a hegemonic ideology in a minority nation context. The originality of this work is based on the sociology of knowledge applying to autonomism study. I have planned to compare autonomist parties to prove my thesis. I already did a conference in 2022 about my results on three cases: Femu a Corsica (“Let’s Do Corsica”, FAC), the Coalition Avenir Québec (“Coalition for Quebec’s Future”, CAQ), and the Südtiroler Volkspartei (“South Tyrolean People’s Party”, SVP). With the empirical outcomes, I will demonstrate the assumption of ethos is more relevant to describe these cases than the thesis a distinctive ideology to define autonomism.
2. Federalism and Jacobin Ideology in France
A federalist ideal has always struggled with the model of the unitary state in France and its Jacobin political culture. From the federalist party during the 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 in marginalized political movements such as the far-left mutualism, ethnonationalism from peripheral regions, and the far-right “integral nationalism” from Charles Maurras. Those movements have reanimated federalism by questioning the European integration debate and decentralization. Because French federalism generates rich – but understudied – sources, it seems relevant to describe it. In the first step, I will analyze federalism that occurs in the far left and the far right ideologies. In a second step, I will explore the federalist ideal from national minorities. In a third and final step, I will explore the ideological compromises (with European integration, regional development or merely decentralization) from Jacobinism.
Because national hegemony has a strong impact on minority groups’ practices and representations, I am also working on the hegemonic phenomenon such as Jacobinism (in France), patriotism (in the United States), or Zionism (in Israel), in order to observe how these ideologies shape symbolic universes of minorities.
1. Sociology of National Minorities and Monism in France
The struggles for recognition from national minorities contest the principle of the indivisibility of the French Republic. Enshrined in Article 1 of the Constitution, constitutional jurisprudence has linked territorial and political indivisibility prohibiting the existence of other nations as components of the French Republic. This perspective of indivisibility which excludes regional identities is rooted in Jacobinism. This political culture shaped social representations participating to the denial or the minimization of the claims from dominated populations. In the French academic field, Jacobinism has become methodological and, like methodological nationalism, proscribes certain science’s objects, phenomena or terrains which would nevertheless have a certain interest. Having written several works on Alsatian nationalism, I can testify to lack of research in social sciences on this field, while Alsace is a relevant case for in English speaker scholars. And this example can be replicated for a significant number of communities and nations. To respond to these omissions, some political scientists have done the opposite exercise and have concentrated on the study of identifiable groups, but this sometimes runs the risk to fail down into a comparable pitfall: groupism. According to Rogers Brubaker, it is the “tendency to take bounded groups as fundamental units of analysis (and constituting the basis of the social world)”; that is, an enterprise of reducing complexity by homogenizing and reifying groups. This is why Rogers Brubaker – inspired by the sociology of Pierre Bourdieu – tries to rethink the categories of race, ethnicity, nation into “practical categories, actions understood, cultural languages, cognitive schemas, discursive frameworks, organizational routines, institutional forms, political projects and contingent events”. My research adapts Rogers Brubaker’s approach in the study of minority cultures and nations i.e., to study the construction and political affirmation of minorities beyond the mere question of identity, but power relations. My thesis around this project postulates that diversity in France is a social construction in order to refute Jacobinism as political culture, as well as Jacobinism is participating to define minorities’ representations.
2. State secularism
I plan to stress my first results about national hegemony in France with a comparative approach with Germany, Israel, Italy, and Turkey. This project focuses more about the state secularism as a part of national political culture. I am in a very early stage, so I have to do more exploratory research. Now, I am in the step to gather academic literature, and validate my cases. Speaking about Israel, I plan to analyze regional minorities, and ethnocultural groups. Druzes of Golan and Arab Israeli as regional minorities seem relevant cases, as well Mizrahi Jews, Sefaradi Jews, and Armenians like ethnocultural groups. In Italy, Aoste Valley and South Tyrol as regional minorities are interesting cases, as well as Roma and Albanian people like ethnocultural groups. In Germany, the Bavarian and the Sorbs fulfill the requirements for regional minorities, and Muslim and Jews as ethnocultural groups. For Turkey, Kurdish people will be the regional minority, and Alevi and Armenian as ethnocultural groups.