El curso es una aproximación a los Objetivos de Desarrollo Sostenible (ODS) de las Naciones Unidas. El curso pretende familiarizar el estudiante con el proceso político y el marco internacional que dio lugar a los ODS, su implantación a distintas escalas y también una aproximación sustantiva a algunos de los 17 objetivos.

How come that certain situations or phenomena widely perceived as harmful to large segments of societies – such as opioid addiction, increasing rates of suicides among farmers, school bullying, student debt, etc. – seem to elicit comparatively little public interest and/or require years or decades to be adressed at all (not to speak about those problems that affect us all like climate change) ? How come that practices or behaviors that might be defined as « problems » by decision-makers in a given time and place (such as the wearing of headscarfs at public schools in late-20th century France) are not perceived as such in other contexts ? Why and how do certain persons or groups of persons come to be defined as « problems » ?

            A social problem can be defined as a situation, process or behavior commonly perceived as undesirable, even as a threat to certain values and aims (such as, for instance, social cohesion or a certain « way of life »)  – and, as such, as requiring public action of some sort. However, not all situations commonly experienced as harmful command sufficient public interest in order to appear on the agenda of public authorities, be they local, national or global. This brings us to the two-dimensional aspects of social problems, their objecive and subjective dimensions : while many « social problems » (such as social exclusion, discrimination, addiction, etc.) are universally experienced by those who suffer from it as objectively harmful, whether something is defined as a social problem depends on how a number of actors (public opinion leaders, mass media, activists, interest groups, etc.) see it and frame it as such. The same issue (eg abortion) can be considered by someone as a purely private matter and by others as a « crime » requiring society as whole to « step in » (possiby via some kind of legal punishment). Understanding processes of social problems’ definition, selection and framing is therefore key to understanding conflict – and public (in-)action  - in contemporary societies

            Departing from a functionalist perspective understanding public policy as a merely rational, neutral response to solve objective « problems », the course will also analyze how « problems », once on the agenda of public authorities, are redesigned and reframed by those who are in charge of addressing them, be it via the choice of specific policy instruments or via decisions taken at the micro-level by bureaucrats in charge of the different « publics » involved. Drawing on a variety of examples taken from different eras, countries and policy areas, as well as on classical academic references, the course is meant as an introduction to the sociology of social problems and to the study of public policy-making more generally.

 Learning objectives

 

1. Use the tools and questions of sociology in order to critically examine how certain situations, processes, behaviors or persons are labelled as problems (while others are not)

2. Evaluate « social problems » from different viewpoints and perspectives ; develop a comparative understanding of how social problems are constructed in different cultural and historical contexts

3. Critically assess, with the help of sociology, policy responses to issues defined as social problems (eg by analyzing how a specific definition or framing of a problem influences policy responses and vice versa)


Anne-Christine Habbard

Anne-christine.habbard@univ-lille.fr

2021-22

 

 

SPACE  AND  POWER

 

 

 

The aim of the course is to reflect on the relationship between space and power: how space shapes and determines certain forms of power, and how power in turn takes on specific spatial dimensions. The notions of a territory and national boundaries, e.g., which seem so self-evident, are in fact a very specific historical construct, elaborated with precise political aims; they also rest on a particular conception of space and of geometry, without which the notion of a territorial nation-state could not have been invented.

More generally, while philosophy and political science have abundantly reflected on time as a key component of political regimes, they have regularly neglected space as an instrument of power, even though it is no less important in establishing, sustaining and reinforcing law, governance and political control. Space is not an empty, homogenous container: it is a social and political reality, which is the result of social, historical and political power struggles.

The course will consider various figures and aspects of this spatiality of power; in particular, we will look at the importance of geometry in creating the conditions for the modern nation-state, notably through the invention of cartography. It will further show how spatial thinking allows for fresh conceptual approaches to political issues, such as cosmopolitanism, minority rights, property rights or immigration ethics. We will also look at the relationship between space and state violence, as is e.g. manifested by phenomena such as ethnic cleansing or forced population displacements; we will also explore the politics of space, or how given political ideas and values shape and transform space, notably in urban planning.

 

Reading list (in alphabetical order):

 

James Akerman, “The Structuring of Political Territory in Early Printed Atlases”, Imago Mundi, Vol. 47, 1995, pp. 138-154.

Etienne Balibar, The Nation Form: History and Ideology

Charles Baudelaire, The Painter of Modern Life

Charles Beitz, Political Theory and International Relations. Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1979, Section 2, pp. 68-130.

Walter Benjamin, “Paris, Capital of the 19th Century” in The Arcades Project, pp. 15-21.

Jeremy Bentham, ¨Principles of the Civil Code, Part 1, chap. 8, “Of Property”.

Michael Biggs, “Putting the State on the Map: Cartography, Territory, and European State”, Comparative Studies in Society and History, Vol. 41, No. 2, Apr. 1999, pp. 374-405.

Nicholas Blomley, “Law, Property, and the Geography of Violence: The Frontier, the Survey, and the Grid”, Annals of the Association of American Geographers, Vol. 93, No. 1, Mar. 2003, pp. 121-141.

Edmund Burke, Reflections on the Revolution of France, Penguin Classics, pp. 284-290.

Joseph Carens, “Aliens and Citizens: The Case for Open Borders”

Dipesh Chakrabarty,Remembered Villages, Representations of Hindu-Bengali Memories in the Aftermath of the Partition”.

Tim Cresswell, In Place/ Out of Place, Minneapolis, Uni. Of Minnesota Press, 1996, Part 1 “The Terrain of Discussion” (ch. 1 and 2)

Michel De Certeau, The Practice of Everyday Life, transl. S. Rendall, Berkeley, Univ. of California Press, 1984, ch. VII “Walking in the City”, pp. 91-110.

Descartes, Principles of Philosophy, Part II, parag. 1-18.

Matthew Edney, Mapping an Empire – The Geographical Construction of British India, 1765-1843, Univ. of Chicago Press, 1990, pp.15-36 and 332-340.

Richard Ford, “Law's Territory (A History of Jurisdiction)”, Michigan Law Review, Vol. 97, No. 4, Feb. 1999, pp. 843-930.

Michel Foucault, Power/Knowledge: Selected Interviews and Other Writings 1972–1977, Colin Gordon (ed.), New York, Pantheon Books, 1980, chap. 8 “The eye of power”.

Anne Godlewska, “Map, Text and Image. The Mentality of Enlightened Conquerors: A New Look at the Description de l'Egypte”, in Transactions of the Institute of British Geographers, Vol. 20, no. 1, 1995, pp. 5-28.

J. B. Harley:

Ø  “Deconstructing the Map”, Cartographica, vol. 26, No 2, summer 1989, pp. 1-20.

Ø  “Rereading the Maps of the Columbian Encounter”,Annals of the Association of American Geographers, Vol. 82, No. 3, Sep. 1992, pp. 522-536.

Ø  “Silences and Secrecy: The Hidden Agenda of Cartography in Early Modern Europe”, Imago Mundi, 40, 1988, pp. 57-76.

David Harvey, Cosmopolitanism and the Geographies of Freedom, NY, Columbia University Press, 2009, chap. 8: “Places, regions, territories”, pp. 166-201.

Eric Hobsbawm, Nations and Nationalism since 1871, Cambridge Univ. Press, 1990, chap.3, pp. 80-89.

Edmund Husserl, Philosophy and The Crisis of the European Man, 1935.

Tim Ingold, Lines - A Brief History, Routledge, chap.3 “Up, across and along”, pp. 71-90.

Leif Jerram, Streetlife, “No place for a lady?”, pp. 121-140.

Patrick Joyce, The Rule of Freedom – Liberalism and the Modern City, Verso, London 2003, Introduction and chap. 1.

Immanuel Kant,

-         Critique of Pure Reason, Transcendental Aesthetic, Exposition of Space, pp. 42-49

-         Toward Perpetual Peace

Kierkegaard, The Concept of Irony, transl. Hong, Princeton Univ. Press.

Alexandre Koyre, From the Closed World to the Infinite Universe, ch.IV and V.

Will Kymlicka, “Interpreting Group Rights”, in The Good Society, Vol. 6, No. 2, spring 1996, pp. 8-11.

Henri Lefebvre, The Production of Space, transl. D. Nicholson-Smith, Blackwell, London, 1991, pp. 25-33 (parag. XI to XV)

Andrew McRae, “To Know One's Own: Estate Surveying and the Representation of the Land in Early Modern England”, The Huntington Library Quarterly, University of California Press, 1993, 56, No. 4, pp. 333-357.

Liisa Malkki, “National Geographic: The Rooting of Peoples and the Territorialization of National Identity among Scholars and Refugees”, in Cultural Anthropology, 1992

Doreen Massey, For Space, London, Sage, 2005, chap. 11 pp. 107-117 and chap. 14, 149-161

Walter Mignolo, The Darker Side of the Renaissance, Ann Arbor, Michigan Univ. Press, 2010, pp. 325-334.

Mark Neoclous, “Off the Map, On Violence and Cartography”, European Journal of Social Theory, 6(4), 2003, pp. 409-425.

Gregory Nobles, “Straight Lines and Stability: Mapping the Political Order of the Anglo-American Frontier”, The Journal of American History, Vol. 80, No. 1, Jun. 1993, pp. 9-35.

Martha Nussbaum, Frontiers of Justice: Disability, Nationality, Species Membership. Cambridge: Belknap Press, 2006, pp.255-270.

Kenneth Olwig,

Ø  Representation and Alienation in the Political Land-scape”, Cultural Geographies, 2005, pp. 19-40.

Ø  “The Political Landscape as Polity and Place”, in Landscape, Nature and the Body Politic, Univ. of Wisconsin Press, 2002.

Ricardo Padron, The Spacious Word – Cartography, Literature, and Empire in Early Modern Spain, Chicago, University of Chicago Press, 2003.

Erwin Panofsky, Perspective as Symbolic Form, Sections III, IV.

John Pickles, “’New Cartographies' and the Decolonization of European Geographies”, in Area, Vol. 37, No. 4, Dec. 2005, pp. 355-364.

Jean-Jacques Rousseau, The Social Contract.

Robert Sack, Human Territoriality: Its Theory and History, Cambridge, Cambridge University Press, 1986, chap. 2 “Theory”, pp. 28-44.

Carl Schmitt, The Nomos of the Earth in the International Law of the Jus Publicum Europaeum, translated and annotated by G. L. Ulmen, Telos Press, New York 2003, chap. 1 “The first global lines”, pp. 86-100.

Georg Simmel, The Stranger

Peter Singer, One World: The Ethics of Globalization. New Haven: Yale University Press, 2002.

H. D. Thoreau, Walking

David Turnbull, “Cartography and Science in Early Modern Europe: Mapping the Construction of Knowledge Spaces”, Imago Mundi, Vol. 48, 1996, pp. 5-24.

J.-P. Vernant, “Geometry and Spherical Astronomy”, in Myth and Thought Among the Greeks, Zone Books, NY, 2006, ch. 7.

Michael Walzer, “Liberalism and the Art of Separation”, Political Theory, Vol. 12, No. 3, Aug. 1984, pp. 315-330.

Thongchai Winichakul, Siam Mapped – A History of the Geo-Body of a Nation, Univ. of Hawaï Press, 1994, pp. 1-19 and 164-174.

 

 

Course requirements and evaluation:

Oral participation is actively encouraged.

The evaluation will consist of a final paper. Its object, format and deadline will be given during the first lecture.

 

 

Course outline:

 

Week 1: General Introduction – Why is space a problem for politics?

Why is space consistently absent from political reflection? The importance of the spatiality of power. Looking at politics through the prism of space, understanding “geopolitics” in its original meaning of political geography.

 

Tim Cresswell, In Place / Out of Place, Minneapolis, Uni. of Minnesota Press, 1996, Part 1 “The Terrain of Discussion” (ch. 1 and 2)

Michel Foucault, “The Eye of Power”, in Power/Knowledge: Selected Interviews and Other Writings 1972–1977. Edited by Colin Gordon. New York: Pantheon Books, 1980.

Henri Lefebvre, The Production of Space, transl. D. Nicholson-Smith, Blackwell, London, 1991, pp. 25-33 (parag. XI to XV)

Liisa Malkki, “National Geographic: The Rooting of Peoples and the Territorialization of National Identity among Scholars and Refugees”, Cultural Anthropology, 1992

 

 

Weeks 2-3: From the Closed Cosmos to the Infinite Space

Changing conceptions of space: from the Aristotelian notion of space and cosmos to the modern expanse.

 

Descartes, Principles of Philosophy, Part II, parag. 1-18.hh

Edmund Husserl, Philosophy and the Crisis of the European Man, 1935.

Kant, Critique of Pure Reason, Transcendental Aesthetic, Exposition of Space, pp. 42-49

Alexandre Koyre, From the Closed World to the Infinite Universe, ch. IV and V, pp. 88-124.

J.-P. Vernant, “Geometry and Spherical Astronomy", in Myth and Thought Among the Greeks, Zone Books, NY, 2006, ch. 7.

 

 

Week 4: Linear Perspective and Cartography

A “miraculous conjunction” of geometry and politics: the concomitant emergence of linear perspective and cartography in early modernity, paving the way for the modern polity.

 

Erwin Panofsky, Perspective as Symbolic Form, Sections III and IV.

David Turnbull, “Cartography and Science in Early Modern Europe: Mapping the Construction of Knowledge Spaces”, Imago Mundi, Vol. 48, 1996, pp. 5-24.

 

 

Weeks 5-6: The Invention of the National Territory – the Cartographic State

What is the specific spatiality of the territorial nation-state? How did it inaugurate a specific relationship between space, representation of space, and power? The link between territory, cartography and sovereignty.

 

 

*J. Akerman, “The Structuring of Political Territory in Early Printed Atlases”, Imago Mundi, Vol. 47, 1995, pp. 138-154.

*Etienne Balibar, The Nation Form: History and Ideology

*Michael Biggs, “Putting the State on the Map: Cartography, Territory, and European State”, Comparative Studies in Society and History, Vol. 41, No. 2, Apr. 1999, pp. 374-405.

*Edmund Burke, Reflections on the Revolution of France.

*Richard Ford, “Law's Territory (A History of Jurisdiction)”, Michigan Law Review, Vol. 97, No. 4, Feb. 1999, pp. 843-930.

J. B. Harley:

Ø  *“Deconstructing the Map”, Cartographica, vol. 26, No 2, summer 1989, pp. 1-20.

Ø   “Silences and Secrecy: The Hidden Agenda of Cartography in Early Modern Europe”, Imago Mundi, 40, 1988, pp. 57-76.

Eric Hobsbawm, Nations and Nationalism since 1871.

Mark Neoclous, “Off the Map, On Violence and Cartography”, European Journal of Social Theory, 6(4), 2003, pp. 409-425.

Gregory Nobles, “Straight Lines and Stability: Mapping the Political Order of the Anglo-American Frontier”, The Journal of American History, Vol. 80, No. 1, Jun. 1993, pp. 9-35.

*Robert Sack, Human Territoriality: Its Theory and History, Cambridge, Cambridge University Press, 1986, chap. 2 “Theory”, pp. 28-44.

Michael Walzer, “Liberalism and the Art of Separation”, Political Theory, Vol. 12, No. 3, Aug. 1984, pp. 315-330.

 

 

Week 7: The Politics of Mapping: Colonization

Cartography as a privileged tool of colonial control.

 

Matthew Edney, Mapping an Empire – The Geographical Construction of British India, 1765-1843

Anne Godlewska, “Map, Text and Image. The Mentality of Enlightened Conquerors: A New Look at the Description de l'Egypte”, Transactions of the Institute of British Geographers, Vol. 20, No. 1, 1995, pp. 5-28.

J.B. Harley, “Rereading the Maps of the Columbian Encounter”, Annals of the Association of American Geographers, Vol. 82, No. 3, Sep. 1992, pp. 522-536.

Walter Mignolo, The Darker Side of the Renaissance, Ann Arbor, Michigan Univ. Press, 2010, pp. 325-334.

Ricardo Padron, The Spacious Word – Cartography, Literature, and Empire in Early Modern Spain, Chicago, University of Chicago Press, 2003.

John Pickles, “’New Cartographies' and the Decolonization of European Geographies”, Area, Vol. 37, No. 4, Dec. 2005, pp. 355-364.

Carl Schmitt, The Nomos of the Earth in the International Law of the Jus Publicum Europaeum, translated and annotated by G. L. Ulmen, Telos Press, New York 2003.

Thongchai Winichakul, Siam Mapped – A History of the Geo-Body of a Nation

 

 

Week 8: Applying Spatial Thinking: The Philosophical and Political Problem of Cosmopolitanism

Is it possible to overcome the spatiality of national territoriality and think the conditions of possibility of cosmopolitanism?

 

Charles Beitz, Political Theory and International Relations. Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1979, pp. 68-130.

Immanuel Kant, Project of Perpetual Peace

Martha Nussbaum, Frontiers of Justice: Disability, Nationality, Species Membership. Cambridge, Belknap Press, 2006, pp.255-270.

John Rawls, The Law of Peoples, Cambridge, Harvard University Press

Peter Singer, One World: The Ethics of Globalization. New Haven: Yale University Press, 2002.

 

 

Week 9: Applying Spatial Thinking: Immigration Ethics, Minority Rights

Understanding the spatiality underlying the issues of minority rights and immigration ethics.

 

Joseph Carens, “Aliens and Citizens: The Case for Open Borders”

Will Kymlicka, “Interpreting Group Rights”, in The Good Society, Vol. 6, No. 2, spring 1996, pp. 8-11.

Georg Simmel, The Stranger

 

 

Week 10: Visualising Property

The extremely potent spatial power of private property. How private property, the institutionalization of which is one of the main features of the modern nation-state, is based on a particular spatiality.

 

Jeremy Bentham, “Security and Equality of Property”, in Property: Mainstream and Critical Positions, ed. by B. MacPherson, Toronto, University of Toronto Press, 1978, pp. 39-58.

Nicholas Blomley, “Law, Property, and the Geography of Violence: The Frontier, the Survey, and the Grid”, Annals of the Association of American Geographers, Vol. 93, No. 1, Mar. 2003, pp. 121-141.

Andrew McRae, “To Know One's Own: Estate Surveying and the Representation of the Land in Early Modern England”, The Huntington Library Quarterly, University of California Press, 1993, 56, No. 4, pp. 333-357.

Jean-Jacques Rousseau, The Social Contract

 

 

Week 11: A Political Concept: The Invention of the Landscape

The notion of landscape is a combination of geometry and a very modern notion of the individual and the polity, and embodies a particular relationship between man and the environment.

 

Dipesh Chakrabarty, Remembered Villages, Representations of Hindu-Bengali Memories in the Aftermath of the Partition”.

Kenneth Olwig,

Ø  Representation and Alienation in the Political Land-scape”, Cultural Geographies, 2005, pp. 19-40.

Ø  “The Political Landscape as Polity and Place”, in Landscape, Nature and the Body Politic, Univ. of Wisconsin Press, 2002.

 

 

Week 12: The Politics of Urbanity

How cities originate from, and are shaped, by specific political ideas. Cities and citizenship. The political meaning of urbanity.

 

Michel De Certeau, The Practice of Everyday Life, transl. S. Rendall, Berkeley, Univ. of California Press, 1984, ch. VII “Walking in the City”, pp. 91-110.

Leif Jerram, Streetlife – The Untold History of Europe’s Twentieth Century, Oxford U. Press, 2013.

Patrick Joyce, The Rule of Freedom – Liberalism and the Modern City, Verso, London 2003.

Doreen Massey, For Space, London, Sage, 2005, chap. 11 pp. 107-117 and chap. 14, 149-161

Sadia Shirazi, “City, Space, Power: Lahore’s Architecture of In/security”, The Funambulist, Papers 36.

 

 

Week 13: Walking.

 

Charles Baudelaire, The Painter of Modern Life

Walter Benjamin, “Paris, Capital of the 19th Century” in The Arcades Project, pp. 15-21.

Tim Ingold, Lines – A Brief History.

Kierkegaard, The Concept of Irony, transl. Hong, Princeton Univ. Press.

Thoreau, Walking.

 

 


These nine weeks lecture in Political Science aims to analyse the main aspects of the French political institutions and actors, since the birth of the current Fifth Republic, in 1958. The first part of this course aims to present the outlines of the French political order: that is to say, the functioning of the French semi-presidential system and relationships between the main power figures (such as the Prime Minister, the President of the Republic and the Members of Parliament), relationships between central level and sub-central level (since the laws of decentralization) powers, functions of the State and characteristics of the high civil servants (education, career...). 

The second part of this seminar will present the ideological framework for French politics. 

Finally, we will present the main French political actors: political parties and the functioning of political competition; representation of women in politics; the political activists.

This lecture aims to give you the main tools to participate and understand the key debates of the French political life, during your stay in France. So, don’t hesitate to participate during this lecture and to ask some questions. I’ll be happy to precise some theories or notions that you didn’t understand. We can also organise some debates and compare the French political system with the functioning of your own country political system.