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Welcome to the H-France Salon. Originating in 2009, H-France Salon is an interactive journal that welcomes proposals which will enhance the scholarly study of French history and culture.

Welcome to the H-France Salon

We have salons available in print, video and webinar. For instructions on how to participate in future webinars, click here. A collection of similar papers, discussions, etc. published on H-France as "Occasional Papers" are available here. H-France Salon, Volume 7 (2015), Issue 1 Marriage Equality in Contemporary France A Collaboration between Contemporary French Civilization and H-France Edited by David Kammerling Smith In its December 2014 issue, Contemporary French Civilization​ published a special forum entitled "Au-delà du mariage: De l’égalité des droits à la critique des normes" guest edited by Éric Fassin and Daniel Borrillo.

This issue of H-France Salon contains two pieces. Colonial Inspectors: French Policemen and Surveillance in French West Africa, 1914-1939. Marseille Hit by Violent Wave of Drug Crimes. France Keyser for The New York Times Flowers around a light pole where Walid Marzouki, whom the police suspected of being a drug dealer, was killed.

Marseille Hit by Violent Wave of Drug Crimes

Mr. Marzouki, 25, was a drug dealer from Marseille, the police said. “I heard loud bursts of gunfire,” said Nina Lamraoui, 31, who lives in a building near the murder scene. “I was so terrified for my children that I told them it was a car accident.” Mr.

Annecy Murders

The 600-year struggle for the soul of Joan of Arc - Europe - World. Not from English captivity but from her status as a foreigner-bashing, official heroine of the French far right.

The 600-year struggle for the soul of Joan of Arc - Europe - World

Friday marks the 600 anniversary of Joan’s birth. Mr Sarkozy will take time out from rescuing the French and European economies to attend a series of events in her native village of Domrémy-la-Pucelle in the Vosges. He will also visit Vaucouleurs in Meuse, where Joan or Jeanne or Jehanne (1412-1431) spent the early part of her brief career as a religious visionary and resistance leader. The xenophobic National Front adopted Jeanne d’Arc as an icon of ultra-nationalism two decades ago. The NF will celebrate her 600 birthday with an open-air rally led by the party’s leader Marine Le Pen and its founder, Jean-Marie Le Pen, in Paris on Saturday. President Sarkozy first attempted to wrestle Joan from far-right ownership during his bid for election in 2007. There is nothing new in posthumous attempts to recruit Joan of Arc to political or religious causes.

The New French Hacker-Artist Underground. A mysterious band of hacker-artists is prowling the network of tunnels below Paris, secretly refurbishing the city's neglected treasures.Photo: UX Thirty years ago, in the dead of night, a group of six Parisian teenagers pulled off what would prove to be a fateful theft.

The New French Hacker-Artist Underground

They met up at a small café near the Eiffel Tower to review their plans—again—before heading out into the dark. Lifting a grate from the street, they descended a ladder to a tunnel, an unlit concrete passageway carrying a cable off into the void. They followed the cable to its source: the basement of the ministry of telecommunications. Horizontal bars blocked their way, but the skinny teens all managed to wedge themselves through and ascend to the building’s ground floor. But the guards were nowhere to be seen. France's Newt Gingrich - By Eric Pape. PARIS — With rising unemployment, controversial austerity measures, another recession, and striking personal unpopularity, it's not shocking that French President Nicolas Sarkozy faces a steep climb to reelection in May.

France's Newt Gingrich - By Eric Pape

But the center-right leader's greatest obstacle is not his front-running opponent, the Socialist François Hollande, but the far-right candidate, Marine Le Pen, France's political equivalent, in many ways, of America's Newt Gingrich. Le Pen may not look much like America's doughy, retirement-age former House speaker. "Sarkozy at Dusk" by Dominique Moisi. Exit from comment view mode.

"Sarkozy at Dusk" by Dominique Moisi

Click to hide this space PARIS – And the next French President will be…the Socialist Party’s candidate François Hollande. A month ago, any prediction uttered with such certainty would have sounded imprudent, if not foolish. Uncertainty prevailed. Four candidates dominated the competition, and no one would have dared to predict which two will make it to the second-round run-off.

A Lesser France. Divining the result of French elections is a notoriously hazardous affair.

A Lesser France

No one in France forgets 2002, when Jean-Marie Le Pen, the right-wing National Front candidate, pulled off a surprise upset in the first round, knocking Socialist Prime Minister Lionel Jospin out of the running and securing a place in the runoff election against Jacques Chirac. A decade later, there are no fewer than ten candidates on the ballot for the first round of voting on April 22. France's future: A country in denial. The Rust Belt of France: Montpellier. My wife and I have been living in France for the past nine months in a city near the Mediterranean coast.

The Rust Belt of France: Montpellier

But it’s not quite what you think. La Haine Redux by Alexander Lee. Exit from comment view mode.

La Haine Redux by Alexander Lee

Click to hide this space With the French presidential elections only weeks away, it is becoming increasingly clear that the shootings committed in Toulouse by 23-year-old Mohammed Merah have dramatically boosted President Nicolas Sarkozy flagging campaign. Is the left the real story in the French election? In the lead-up to this weekend's French presidential election, there's been quite a bit of attention paid in the U.S. media (including some fine pieces on this site) to the impact of far-right candidate Marine Le Pen on the race.

Is the left the real story in the French election?

While Le Pen has no chance of winning, and little chance of even making it to the second round, her substantial support has pushed Nicolas Sarkozy to the right on questions of immigration and Islam. But I wonder if, when the dust settles, the real story of this election might be the resurgence of the French "left of the left," in the person Left Party candidate Jean-Luc Mélenchon. The 60-year-old ex-Trotskyite who left the labor party in 2008 when he felt it had moved to far to the center, favors confiscating income above 360,000 euros per year and outlawing layoffs by profitable companies.

His message seems to have struck a chord in post-crash France. He is currently polling at around 15 percent, putting him in competition with Le Pen for third place. A Bizarre Political Comedy. Nicolas Sarkozy has used his country's recent tragedy -- the killing spree by French-born 24-year-old Mohamed Merah, a self-proclaimed radical Muslim -- as an opportunity to put his campaign on hold. Looking every bit a president (read: not a candidate), Sarkozy responded with solemnity to the rampage that left seven dead -- he rose to the occasion by organizing a national funeral ceremony.

Yet, during the funeral, which was televised live, the other candidates elbowed each other to appear in front of the camera, and it became clear how political this mourning period had become. "France’s Election by Default" by Dominique Moisi. Exit from comment view mode. Click to hide this space PARIS – Rousseau versus Hobbes: on the cover of the French magazine Philosophie, the two leading contenders in France’s upcoming presidential election, the incumbent Nicolas Sarkozy and the Socialist candidate François Hollande, are dressed up accordingly.

“The real presidential contest” according to the magazine, pits the consensual and contractual vision of Rousseau (Hollande) against the violent “every man is a wolf to his fellow man” vision of Hobbes (Sarkozy). Philospophie’s take on the French presidential election may contain some truth, but reality is far more prosaic – and far less intellectual.

To understand the complexities of the race and Sarkozy’s recent (but still relative) surge, sports might be a better reference point than philosophy. Consider Hollande’s strategy in soccer terms. Hollande wanted so much to stress his “normality” compared to the excesses of Sarkozy’s character that he ended up appearing banal. The Circus Continues. Egypt Unwrapped It has been an entertaining couple of weeks in Egyptian politics. Anti-Omar Suleiman posters in Cairo, Egypt It has been an entertaining couple of weeks in Egyptian politics. First there was the will-he-won’t-he drama surrounding Abu Ismail, the ultra-conservative Salafi who was facing disqualification from next month’s presidential elections over claims his mother was American.

Then the Muslim Brotherhood surprised everyone by completing a jaw-dropping political U-turn, breaking last year’s cast iron pledge and putting forward their own presidential candidate. As if things couldn’t get any more intriguing – and as if last year’s uprising had never even happened – Omar Suleiman, former President Hosni Mubarak’s spy chief, dropped a bombshell and announced his own candidacy for the race. But all of it appears to have come to nothing when Egypt’s electoral commission upheld a ban on 10 presidential candidates, including all of the aforementioned contenders.

A Lesser France. Hollande Is Half the Story. Earlier this month, for the first time in the history of the Fifth Republic, the incumbent failed to take the lead in the first round of a French presidential election. Now, before the second round, scheduled for Sunday, surveys indicate that President Nicolas Sarkozy will be beaten handily by François Hollande, the Socialist Party candidate. So handily, in fact, that the French press has already moved on to speculating about the legislative elections that will take place in June.

France: a politics out of time. All opinion-polls agree: most French voters feel the current campaign for the presidency is dull, boring and remote from their main concerns. What they want is to keep their jobs and social services, earn decent wages, have less social inequality, a good education system for their children, and law and order. Sarkozy and Hollande: Desire and Fear. Why would any Frenchman vote for François Hollande, a ghost of a man with the temperament of Eeyore, over tiny, tempestuous Nicolas Sarkozy with his Napoleonic desires and flamboyant charm? I have asked this question for the past few weeks of a wide assortment of French voters I happen to know—many of them every bit as flamboyant as the man they claim to despise.

France’s choice: naughty child or colourless adult? I cannot vote in the French presidential election. While as an EU citizen with residence in France I have the right to vote for the mayor, I discovered that exercising that right requires extended negotiation with French municipal bureaucracy, an exercise on which no sane person would voluntarily embark. President Sarkozy's Desperate Mayday - By Eric Pape.

PARIS – Remember May 1. Though the French election is still almost a week away, today may have been the day that hope abandoned President Nicolas Sarkozy and his run for a second term. Europe’s far right is the true winner of France’s presidential election. Photograph by Bertrand Langlois/AFP/GettyImages. "Europe’s Opportunity in Hollande" by Martin Schulz. Exit from comment view mode. Click to hide this space. The Morning After - By Eric Pape. PARIS – How is it that France -- the world's fifth-largest economy -- faced with intense credit-rating pressures, chose a Socialist to replace President Nicolas Sarkozy?

Yes, President-elect François Hollande, who bashed Sarkozy's relationship to money far more than he bashed the rich themselves, is essentially a social democrat who has promised to be nearly as fiscally responsible as was Sarkozy. But that hardly gets at the core of France's presidential passions. Of course, economic storms have now washed away 10 incumbent European leaders (make it 11, with Hollande's victory), and after 17 years of presidents from the right, France was ready to balance the scales. French elections: what does normal stand for? "François Hollande Meets the World" by Noëlle Lenoir. Exit from comment view mode. Click to hide this space PARIS – When François Hollande, fresh from his election as France’s next president, was asked by a journalist which language he would use when he meets US President Barack Obama for the first time, his answer was revealing.

Mitterrand, Hollande, and France's Socialist Legacy. Auf Wiedersehen, Mon Ami - By Benjamin Weinthal. If the results of the latest elections are any indication, Europeans will elect anyone from communists to fascists if they promise to fight German Chancellor Angela Merkel over the financial austerity measures she has imposed on the eurozone. French Socialist François Hollande rode to victory on a wave of popular dissatisfaction on Sunday, May 6, defeating President Nicolas Sarkozy, a close ally of Merkel. "You did not resist Germany," Hollande declared in a televised debate late last week, accusing Sarkozy of acquiescing to German economic measures that require France and other EU states to make deep, painful cuts to their social welfare spending. Hollande now joins the collapsed Dutch government of Prime Minister Mark Rutte -- which unraveled in late April over resistance to economic belt-tightening -- to deliver a one-two austerity punch to Germany.

Yet for all his bluster, Hollande likely won't be able to impose radical change on Europe's core economics. Franck Prevel/Getty Images. "Hollande or Insurrection?" by Zaki Laidi. The End of Sarkozy, the Decline of the French-German Partnership - Max Fisher - International. "France Goes to Hollande" by Michel Rocard. Mr. Normal's Odd Government - By Eric Pape. French Socialism, Take Two. François Hollande and France: the big test. The French Don’t Get It - Martin Feldstein. The French Don't Know Their Place (In the Global Economy) "France’s Broken Dream" by Martin Feldstein. Oradour-sur-Glane: Reflections on the Culture of Memorial in Europe. "Back to Utopia?" by Guy Sorman.

Marseille's Melting Pot. "I Kill, Therefore I Am" by Dominique Moisi. Young, Muslim and French. "Decolonizing the Franc Zone" by Sanou Mbaye. France: Exclude Syria’s Arms Supplier from Paris Arms Show.

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