• Move over darling

    The UK’s Conservative government is taking a leaf out of France’s book by promoting the English language in sub-Saharan Africa, including those countries normally considered exclusively within the French sphere of influence and where Paris defends and promotes francophonie. It’s part of a drive by the British government to establish new, post-Brexit trading links.

    #langue #langues #francophonie #Afrique #colonialisme #anglophonie #français #anglais #Angleterre #UK #compétition #néo-colonialisme #Afrique_sub-saharienne #post-Brexit #Brexit #commerce

  • Is France truly a unique nation among nations ? | Financial Times


    Nations are addicted to narratives. They all have them, yet each thinks theirs is the only one that counts. The British used to read Our Island Story — the hoary best-seller whose chronicling of stirring events and great men and women from Albion to Queen Victoria introduced generations of British schoolchildren to history. (David Cameron once claimed it was his favourite childhood reading.) Across the Channel, books like the so-called petit Lavisse did much the same thing, recounting the whole great sweep of what the French term the roman national from the days of the Gaulish general Vercingetorix to the French Revolution and its aftermath.

    These days a pretty good litmus test for where people stand on the cultural divide in France is whether they regard the roman national as something to be revived or dismantled.

    #gj #gilets_jaunes

  • Comprendre le patriarcat

    Dans ce texte, extrait de son livre The Will to Change : Men, Masculinity, and Love, bell hooks parle de son expérience personnelle du patriarcat, notamment dans son enfance, puis de comment il affecte les femmes et les hommes.


    / Féminisme, (questions de) genre, Infokiosque fantôme (partout), #Anglais

    #Féminisme,_questions_de_genre #Infokiosque_fantôme_partout_

  • Les #gilets_jaunes vus de New York...

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    Driving was already expensive in France when in January 2018 the government of President Emmanuel Macron imposed a tax that raised the price of diesel fuel by 7.6 centimes per liter and of gasoline by 3.8 centimes (about 9 and 4 cents, respectively); further increases were planned for January 2019. The taxes were an attempt to cut carbon emissions and honor the president’s lofty promise to “Make Our Planet Great Again.”

    Priscillia Ludosky, then a thirty-two-year-old bank employee from the Seine-et-Marne department outside Paris, had no choice but to drive into the city for work every day, and the cost of her commute was mounting. “When you pay regularly for something, it really adds up fast, and the increase was enormous,” she told me recently. “There are lots of things I don’t like. But on that I pushed.” In late May 2018, she created a petition on Change.org entitled Pour une Baisse des Prix du Carburant à la Pompe! (For a reduction of fuel prices at the pump!)

    Over the summer Ludosky’s petition—which acknowledged the “entirely honorable” aim of reducing pollution while offering six alternative policy suggestions, including subsidizing electric cars and encouraging employers to allow remote work—got little attention. In the fall she tried again, convincing a radio host in Seine-et-Marne to interview her if the petition garnered 1,500 signatures. She posted that challenge on her Facebook page, and the signatures arrived in less than twenty-four hours. A local news site then shared the petition on its own Facebook page, and it went viral, eventually being signed by over 1.2 million people.

    Éric Drouet, a thirty-three-year-old truck driver and anti-Macron militant also from Seine-et-Marne, created a Facebook event for a nationwide blockade of roads on November 17 to protest the high fuel prices. Around the same time, a fifty-one-year-old self-employed hypnotherapist named Jacline Mouraud recorded herself addressing Macron for four minutes and thirty-eight seconds and posted the video on Facebook. “You have persecuted drivers since the day you took office,” she said. “This will continue for how long?” Mouraud’s invective was viewed over six million times, and the gilets jaunes—the yellow vests, named for the high-visibility vests that French drivers are required to keep in their cars and to wear in case of emergency—were born.

    Even in a country where protest is a cherished ritual of public life, the violence and vitriol of the gilets jaunes movement have stunned the government. Almost immediately it outgrew the issue of the carbon taxes and the financial burden on car-reliant French people outside major cities. In a series of Saturday demonstrations that began in mid-November and have continued for three months, a previously dormant anger has erupted. Demonstrators have beaten police officers, thrown acid in the faces of journalists, and threatened the lives of government officials. There has been violence on both sides, and the European Parliament has condemned French authorities for using “flash-ball guns” against protesters, maiming and even blinding more than a few in the crowds. But the gilets jaunes have a flair for cinematic destruction. In late November they damaged parts of the Arc de Triomphe in Paris; in early January they commandeered a forklift and rammed through the heavy doors of the ministry of state—the only time in the history of the Fifth Republic that a sitting minister had to be evacuated from a government building.

    The gilets jaunes are more than a protest. This is a modern-day jacquerie, an emotional wildfire stoked in the provinces and directed against Paris and, most of all, the elite. French history since 1789 can be seen as a sequence of anti-elite movements, yet the gilets jaunes have no real precedent. Unlike the Paris Commune of 1871, this is a proletarian struggle devoid of utopian aspirations. Unlike the Poujadist movement of the mid-1950s—a confederation of shopkeepers likewise opposed to the “Americanization” of a “thieving and inhuman” state and similarly attracted to anti-Semitic conspiracy theories—the gilets jaunes include shopkeepers seemingly content to destroy shop windows. There is an aspect of carnival here: a delight in the subversion of norms, a deliberate embrace of the grotesque.

    Many have said that the gilets jaunes are merely another “populist movement,” although the term is now so broad that it is nearly meaningless. Comparisons have been made to the Britain of Brexit, the United States of Donald Trump, and especially the Italy of Cinque Stelle. But the crucial difference is that the gilets jaunes are apolitical, and militantly so. They have no official platform, no leadership hierarchy, and no reliable communications. Everyone can speak for the movement, and yet no one can. When a small faction within it fielded a list of candidates for the upcoming European parliamentary elections in May, their sharpest opposition came from within: to many gilets jaunes, the ten who had put their names forward—among them a nurse, a truck driver, and an accountant—were traitors to the cause, having dared to replicate the elite that the rest of the movement disdains.

    Concessions from the government have had little effect. Under mounting pressure, Macron was forced to abandon the carbon tax planned for 2019 in a solemn televised address in mid-December. He also launched the so-called grand débat, a three-month tour of rural France designed to give him a better grasp of the concerns of ordinary people. In some of these sessions, Macron has endured more than six hours of bitter criticisms from angry provincial mayors. But these gestures have quelled neither the protests nor the anger of those who remain in the movement. Performance is the point. During the early “acts,” as the weekly demonstrations are known, members refused to meet with French prime minister Édouard Philippe, on the grounds that he would not allow the encounter to be televised, and that sentiment has persisted. Perhaps the most telling thing about the gilets jaunes is the vest they wear: a symbol of car ownership, but more fundamentally a material demand to be seen.

    Inequality in France is less extreme than in the United States and Britain, but it is increasing. Among wealthy Western countries, the postwar French state—l’État-providence—is something of a marvel. France’s health and education systems remain almost entirely free while ranking among the best in the world. In 2017 the country’s ratio of tax revenue to gross domestic product was 46.2 percent, according to statistics from the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD)—the highest redistribution level of any OECD country and a ratio that allows the state to fight poverty through a generous social protection system. Of that 46.2 percent, the French government allocated approximately 28 percent for social services.

    “The French social model is so integrated that it almost seems a natural, preexisting condition,” Alexis Spire, a sociologist of inequality at the École des Hautes Études en Sciences Sociales, told me recently. A number of the gilets jaunes I met said that despite the taxes they pay, they do not feel they benefit from any social services, since they live far from urban centers. But anyone who has ever received housing assistance, a free prescription, or sixteen weeks of paid maternity leave has benefited from the social protection system. The effect of redistribution is often invisible.

    And yet the rich in France have gotten much richer. Between 1983 and 2015, the vast majority of incomes in France rose by less than one percent per year, while the richest one percent of the population saw their incomes rise by 100 percent after taxes. According to World Bank statistics, the richest 20 percent now earns nearly five times as much as the bottom 20 percent. This represents a stark shift from the Trente Glorieuses, France’s thirty-year economic boom after World War II. As the economist Thomas Piketty has pointed out, between 1950 and 1983, most French incomes rose steadily by approximately 4 percent per year; the nation’s top incomes rose by only one percent.

    What has become painfully visible, however, is the extent of the country’s geographical fractures. Paris has always been the undisputed center of politics, culture, and commerce, but France was once also a country that cherished and protected its vibrant provincial life. This was la France profonde, a clichéd but genuinely existing France of tranquil stone villages and local boulangeries with lines around the block on Sundays. “Douce France, cher pays de mon enfance,” goes the beloved song by the crooner Charles Trenet. “Mon village, au clocher aux maisons sages.” These days, the maisons sages are vacant, and the country boulangeries are closed.

    The story is familiar: the arrival of large multinational megastores on the outskirts of provincial French towns and cities has threatened, and in many cases asphyxiated, local businesses.1 In the once-bustling centers of towns like Avignon, Agen, Calais, and Périgueux, there is now an eerie quiet: windows are often boarded up, and fewer and fewer people are to be found. This is the world evoked with a melancholy beauty in Nicolas Mathieu’s novel Leurs enfants après eux, which won the Prix Goncourt, France’s most prestigious literary prize, in 2018.

    The expansion since the 1980s of France’s high-speed rail network has meant that the country’s major cities are all well connected to Paris. But there are many small towns where the future never arrived, where abandoned nineteenth-century train stations are now merely places for teenagers to make out, monuments of the way things used to be. In these towns, cars are the only way people can get to work. I met a fifty-five-year-old truck and taxi driver named Marco Pavan in the Franche-Comté in late November. What he told me then—about how carbon taxes can seem like sneers from the Parisian elite—has stayed with me. “Ask a Parisian—for him none of this is an issue, because he doesn’t need a car,” Pavan said. “There’s no bus or train to take us anywhere. We have to have a car.” I cited that remark in a Washington Post story I filed from Besançon; in the online comments section, many attacked the movement for what they saw as a backward anti-environmentalism—missing his point.

    Few have written as extensively as the French geographer Christophe Guilluy on la France périphérique, a term he popularized that refers both to the people and the regions left behind by an increasingly globalized economy. Since 2010, when he published Fractures françaises, Guilluy has been investigating the myths and realities of what he calls “the trompe l’oeil of a peaceful, moderate, and consensual society.” He is one of a number of left-wing French intellectuals—among them the novelist Michel Houellebecq, the historian Georges Bensoussan, and the essayist Michel Onfray—who in recent years have argued that their beloved patrie has drifted into inexorable decline, a classic critique of the French right since 1789. But Guilluy’s decline narrative is different: he is not as concerned as the others with Islamist extremism or “decadence” broadly conceived. For him, France’s decline is structural, the result of having become a place where “the social question disappears.”

    Guilluy, born in Montreuil in 1964, is something of a rarity among well-known French intellectuals: he is a product of the Paris suburbs, not of France’s storied grandes écoles. And it is clear that much of his critique is personal. As a child, Guilluy, whose family then lived in the working-class Paris neighborhood of Belleville, was forcibly relocated for a brief period to the heavily immigrant suburb of La Courneuve when their building was slated to be demolished in the midst of Paris’s urban transformation. “I saw gentrification firsthand,” he told Le Figaro in 2017. “For the natives—the natives being just as much the white worker as the young immigrant—what provoked the most problems was not the arrival of Magrebis, but that of the bobos.”

    This has long been Guilluy’s battle cry, and he has focused his intellectual energy on attacking what he sees as the hypocrisy of the bobos, or bourgeois bohemians. His public debut was a short 2001 column in Libération applying that term, coined by the columnist David Brooks, to French social life. What was happening in major urban centers across the country, he wrote then, was a “ghettoization by the top of society” that excluded people like his own family.

    Guilluy crystallized that argument in a 2014 book that won him the ear of the Élysée Palace and regular appearances on French radio. This was La France périphérique: comment on a sacrifié les classes populaires, in which he contended that since the mid-1980s, France’s working classes have been pushed out of the major cities to rural communities—a situation that was a ticking time bomb—partly as a result of rising prices. He advanced that view further in 2016 with La Crépuscule de la France d’en haut—now translated into English as Twilight of the Elites: Prosperity, the Periphery, and the Future of France—a pithy screed against France’s bobo elite and what he sees as its shameless embrace of a “neoliberal,” “Americanized society” and a hollow, feel-good creed of multicultural tolerance. In 2018, one month before the rise of the gilets jaunes, he published No Society, whose title comes from Margaret Thatcher’s 1987 comment that “there is no such thing as society.”

    In Guilluy’s view, an immigrant working class has taken the place of the “native” working class in the banlieues on the outskirts of major cities. This native class, he argues, has been scattered throughout the country and become an “unnoticed presence” that France’s elite has “made to disappear from public consciousness” in order to consolidate its grip on power. Cities are now the exclusive preserve of the elites and their servants, and what Guilluy means by “no society” is that the visible signs of class conflict in urban daily life have vanished. This is his trompe l’oeil: rich, insulated Parisians have convinced themselves that everything is fine, while those who might say otherwise are nowhere near. “The simmering discontent of rural France has never really been taken seriously,” he writes in Twilight of the Elites.

    Since November, much of the French press has declared that Guilluy essentially predicted the rise of the gilets jaunes. They seem, after all, a fulfillment of his prophecy about “the betrayal of the people” by the elites, even if he is always elusive about who exactly “the people” are. While critiques from the movement have remained a confused cloud of social media invective, Guilluy has served as its de facto interpreter.

    No Society puts into words what many in the gilets jaunes have either struggled or refused to articulate. This is the hazy middle ground between warning and threat: “The populist wave coursing through the western world is only the visible part of a soft power emanating from the working classes that will force the elites to rejoin the real movement of society or else to disappear.”

    For now, however, there is just one member of the elite whom the gilets jaunes wish would disappear, and calls for his violent overthrow continue even as the movement’s momentum subsides.

    An intense and deeply personal hatred of Macron is the only unifying cry among the gilets jaunes. Eighteen months before the uprising began, this was the man who captured the world’s imagination and who, after populist victories in Britain and the United States, had promised a French “Third Way.” Yet the Macronian romance is already over, both at home and abroad.

    To some extent, the French always turn against their presidents, but the anger Macron elicits is unique. This is less because of any particular policy than because of his demeanor and, most of all, his language. “Mr. Macron always refused to respond to us,” Muriel Gautherin, fifty-three, a podiatrist who lives in the Paris suburbs, told me at a December march on the Champs-Élysées. “It’s he who insults us, and he who should respond.” When I asked her what she found most distasteful about the French president, her answer was simple: “His words.”

    She has a point. Among Macron’s earliest actions as president was to shave five euros off the monthly stipends of France’s Aide personalisée au logement (APL), the country’s housing assistance program. Around the same time, he slashed France’s wealth tax on those with a net worth of at least €1.3 million—a holdover from the Mitterand era.

    Macron came to office with a record of unrelentingly insulting the poor. In 2014, when he was France’s economic minister, he responded to the firing of nine hundred employees (most of them women) from a Breton slaughterhouse by noting that some were “mostly illiterate.” In 2016 he was caught on camera in a heated dispute with a labor activist in the Hérault. When the activist gestured to Macron’s €1,600 suit as a symbol of his privilege, the minister said, “The best way to afford a suit is to work.” In 2018 he told a young, unemployed gardener that he could find a new job if he merely “crossed the street.”

    Yet nothing quite compares to the statement Macron made in inaugurating Station F, a startup incubator in the thirteenth arrondissement of Paris, housed in a converted rail depot. It is a cavernous consulate for Silicon Valley, a soaring glass campus open to all those with “big ideas” who can also pay €195 a month for a desk and can fill out an application in fluent English. (“We won’t consider any other language,” the organization’s website says.) Google, Amazon, and Microsoft all have offices in it, and in a city of terrible coffee, the espresso is predictably fabulous. In June 2017 Macron delivered a speech there. “A train station,” he said, referring to the structure’s origins, “it’s a place where we encounter those who are succeeding and those who are nothing.”

    This was the moment when a large percentage of the French public learned that in the eyes of their president, they had no value. “Ceux qui ne sont rien” is a phrase that has lingered and festered. To don the yellow vest is thus to declare not only that one has value but also that one exists.

    On the whole, the gilets jaunes are not the poorest members of French society, which is not surprising. As Tocqueville remarked, revolutions are fueled not by those who suffer the most, but by those whose economic status has been improving and who then experience a sudden and unexpected fall. So it seems with the gilets jaunes: most live above the poverty line but come from the precarious ranks of the lower middle class, a group that aspires to middle-class stability and seeks to secure it through palliative consumption: certain clothing brands, the latest iPhone, the newest television.

    In mid-December Le Monde profiled a young couple in the movement from Sens in north-central France, identified only as Arnaud and Jessica. Both twenty-six, they and their four children live in a housing project on the €2,700 per month that Arnaud earns as a truck driver, including more than €1,000 in government assistance. According to statistics from France’s Institut national de la statistique et des études économiques (Insée), this income places them right at the poverty line for a family of this size, and possibly even slightly below it. But the expenses Arnaud and Jessica told Le Monde they struggled to pay included karate lessons for their oldest son and pet supplies for their dog. Jessica, who does not work, told Le Monde, “Children are so mean to each other if they wear lesser brands. I don’t want their friends to make fun of them.” She said she had traveled to Paris for gilet jaune protests on three separate weekends—journeys that presumably cost her money.

    Readers of Le Monde—many of them educated, affluent, and pro-Macron—were quick to attack Arnaud and Jessica. But the sniping missed their point, which was that they felt a seemingly inescapable sense of humiliation, fearing ridicule everywhere from the Élysée Palace to their children’s school. They were explaining something profound about the gilets jaunes: the degree to which the movement is fueled by unfulfilled expectations. For many demonstrators, life is simply not as they believed it would be, or as they feel they deserve. There is an aspect of entitlement to the gilets jaunes, who are also protesting what the French call déclassement, the increasing elusiveness of the middle-class dream in a society in which economic growth has not kept pace with population increase. This entitlement appears to have alienated the gilets jaunes from immigrants and people of color, who are largely absent from their ranks and whose condition is often materially worse.2 “It’s not people who don’t have hope anymore, who don’t have a place to live, or who don’t have a job,” Rokhaya Diallo, a French activist for racial equality, told me recently, describing the movement. “It’s just that status they’re trying to preserve.”

    The gilets jaunes have no substantive ideas: resentment does not an ideology make. They remain a combustible vacuum, and extremist agitators on the far right and the far left have sought to capitalize on their anger. Both Marine Le Pen of the recently renamed Rassemblement National and Jean-Luc Mélenchon of the left-wing La France Insoumise have tried hard to channel the movement’s grassroots energy into their own political parties, but the gilets jaunes have so far resisted these entreaties. The gilets jaunes also found themselves at the center of a diplomatic spat: in early February Italy’s deputy prime minister, Luigi Di Maio, met with two of their members on the outskirts of Paris in a jab at Macron. Two days later, France withdrew its ambassador to Rome for the first time since 1940, but the gilets jaunes have not attempted to exploit this attention for their own political gain. Instead there was infighting—a Twitter war over who had the right to represent the cause abroad and who did not.

    The intellectual void at the heart of an amorphous movement can easily fill with the hatred of an “other.” That may already be happening to the gilets jaunes. Although a careful analysis by Le Monde concluded that race and immigration were not major concerns in the two hundred most frequently shared messages on gilet jaune Facebook pages between the beginning of the movement and January 22, a number of gilets jaunes have been recorded on camera making anti-Semitic gestures, insulting a Holocaust survivor on the Paris metro, and saying that journalists “work for the Jews.” Importantly, the gilets jaunes have never collectively denounced any of these anti-Semitic incidents—a silence perhaps inevitable for a movement that eschews organization of any kind. Likewise, a thorough study conducted by the Paris-based Fondation Jean Jaurès has shown the extent to which conspiracy theories are popular in the movement: 59 percent of those surveyed who had participated in a gilet jaune demonstration said they believed that France’s political elites were encouraging immigration in order to replace them, and 50 percent said they believed in a global “Zionist” conspiracy.

    Members of the movement are often quick to point out that the gilets jaunes are not motivated by identity politics, and yet anyone who has visited one of their demonstrations is confronted with an undeniable reality. Far too much attention has been paid to the symbolism of the yellow vests and far too little to the fact that the vast majority of those who wear them are lower-middle-class whites. In what is perhaps the most ethnically diverse society in Western Europe, can the gilets jaunes truly be said to represent “the people,” as the members of the movement often claim? Priscillia Ludosky, arguably the first gilet jaune, is a black woman. “It’s complicated, that question,” she told me. “I have no response.”

    The gilets jaunes are also distinctly a minority of the French population: in a country of 67 million, as many as 282,000 have demonstrated on a single day, and that figure has consistently fallen with each passing week, down to 41,500 during “Act 14” of the protest on February 16. On two different weekends in November and December, other marches in Paris—one for women’s rights, the other against climate change—drew far bigger crowds than the gilets jaunes did. But the concerns of this minority are treated as universal by politicians, the press, and even the movement’s sharpest critics. Especially after Trump and Brexit, lower-middle-class and working-class whites command public attention even when they have no clear message.

    French citizens of color have been protesting social inequality for years without receiving any such respect. In 2005 the killing of two minority youths by French police in the Paris suburb of Clichy-sous-Bois ignited a string of violent uprisings against police brutality, but the government declared an official state of emergency instead of launching a grand débat. In 2009, the overseas departments of Guadeloupe and Martinique saw a huge strike against the high cost of living—a forty-four-day uprising that also targeted fuel prices and demanded an increase to the minimum wage. In 2017 an almost identical protest occurred in French Guiana, another French overseas department, where residents demonstrated against household goods that were as much as 12 percent more expensive than they were in mainland France, despite a lower minimum wage. The French government was slow to respond in both of these instances, while the concerns of the gilets jaunes have resulted in a personal apology from the president and a slew of concessions.

    Guilluy, whose analysis of la France périphérique ultimately fails to grapple significantly with France’s decidedly peripheral overseas territories, does not shy away from the question of identity. He sees a racial element to the frustrations of la France périphérique, but he does not see this as a problem. Some of the most frustrating moments in his work come when he acknowledges but refuses to interrogate white working-class behavior that seems to be racially motivated. “Public housing in outlying communities is now a last resort for workers hoping to be able to go on living near the major cities,” he writes in Twilight of the Elites, describing the recent astronomic rise in France’s urban real estate prices. “These projects, mostly occupied by immigrant renters, are avoided by white French-born workers. Barring some utterly unforeseeable turn of events, their expulsion from the largest urban centers will be irreversible.” It would not diminish Guilluy’s broader point about la France périphérique if he acknowledged that victims of structural changes can also be intolerant.

    Guilluy also regularly recycles anxieties over immigration, often from controversial theorists such as Michèle Tribalat, who is associated with the idea of le grand remplacement, the alleged “great replacement” of France’s white population by immigrants from North and Sub-Saharan Africa. In making his case about “the demographic revolution in process,” Guilluy has been accused of inflating his statistics. France, he wrote in Fractures françaises, “welcomes a little less than 200,000 legal foreigners every year.” But these claims were attacked by Patrick Weil, a leading French historian of immigration, who noted in his book Le sens de la République (2015) that Guilluy failed to consider that a large number of those 200,000 are temporary workers, students who come and go, and others of “irregular” status. Guilluy has not responded to these criticisms, and in any case his rhetoric has since grown more radical. In No Society he writes, “Multiculturalism is, intrinsically, a feeble ideology that divides and weakens.”

    Whether the gilets jaunes will eventually come to agree with him is a crucial question. Like Guilluy, they are responding to real social conditions. But if, following Guilluy’s lead, they ultimately resort to the language of race and ethnicity to explain their suffering, they will have chosen to become a different movement altogether, one in which addressing inequality was never quite the point. In some ways, they have already crossed that line.

    On the afternoon of Saturday, February 16, the prominent French intellectual Alain Finkielkraut got out of a taxi on the Boulevard Montparnasse. A crowd of gilets jaunes noticed him and began hurling anti-Semitic insults. The scene, recorded on video, was chilling: in the center of Paris, under a cloudless sky, a mob of visibly angry men surrounded a man they knew to be Jewish, called him a “dirty Zionist,” and told him, “go back to Tel Aviv.”

    Finkielkraut’s parents were Polish refugees from the Holocaust. He was born in Paris in 1949 and has become a fixture in French cultural life, a prolific author, a host of a popular weekly broadcast on France Culture, and a member of the Académie Française, the country’s most elite literary institution. In the words of Macron, who immediately responded to the attack, he “is not only an eminent man of letters but the symbol of what the Republic affords us all.” The irony is that Finkielkraut—another former leftist who believes that France has plunged into inexorable decline and ignored the dangers of multiculturalism—was one of the only Parisian intellectuals who had supported the gilets jaunes from the beginning.

    I spoke to Finkielkraut after the attack, and he explained that the gilets jaunes had seemed to him the evidence of something authentic. “I saw an invisible France, neglected and forgotten,” he said. “Wearing fluorescent yellow vests in order to be visible—of being a ‘somewhere’ as opposed to an ‘anywhere,’ as Goodhart has said—seemed to me an absolutely legitimate critique.” The British journalist David Goodhart, popular these days in French right-wing circles, is the author of The Road to Somewhere (2017), which sees populist anger as the inevitable response to the widening gulf between those “rooted” in a particular place and cosmopolitans at home anywhere. “France is not a ‘start-up nation,’” Finkielkraut told me. “It can’t be reduced to that.”

    Finkielkraut said that the attack was a sign that the reasonable critiques orginally made by the gilets jaunes had vanished, and that they had no real future. “I think the movement is in the process of degradation. It’s no longer a social movement but a sect that has closed in on itself, whose discourse is no longer rational.”

    Although the Paris prosecutor has opened an investigation into his attackers, Finkielkraut has not pressed charges. He told me that the episode, as violent as it was, did not necessarily suggest that all those who had worn yellow vests in recent months were anti-Semites or extremists. “Those who insulted me were not the nurses, the shopkeepers, or the small business owners,” he said, noting that he doubted he would have experienced the same prejudice at the roundabouts, the traffic circles across the country where gilets jaunes protesters gathered every Saturday. In a sense, these were the essence of the movement, which was an inchoate mobilization against many things, but perhaps none so much as loneliness. The roundabouts quickly became impromptu piazzas and a means, however small, of reclaiming a spirit of community that disappeared long ago in so many French towns and villages.

    In Paris, where the remaining gilets jaunes have now focused most of their energy, the weekly protests have become little more than a despicable theater filled with scenes like the attack on Finkielkraut. There is no convincing evidence that those still wearing yellow vests are troubled by the presence of bigotry in their ranks. What is more, many gilets jaunes now seem to believe that pointing out such prejudice is somehow to become part of a government-backed conspiracy to turn public opinion against them.

    Consider, for instance, a February 19 communiqué released in response to the attack on Finkielkraut from La France en Colère, one of the movement’s main online bulletins. “For many days, the government and its friends in the national media seem to have found a new technique for destabilizing public opinion and discrediting the Gilets Jaunes movement,” it begins. “We denounce the accusations and the manipulations put in place by this government adept at fake news.” But this is all the communiqué denounces; it does not address the anti-Semitic violence to which Finkielkraut was subjected, nor does it apologize to a national figure who had defended the movement when few others of his prominence dared to do the same.

    A month after our last conversation, I called Priscillia Ludosky back, to see if she had any reaction to the recent turn of events in the movement her petition had launched. She was only interested in discussing what she called the French government’s “systematic abuse to manipulate public opinion.” She also believes that a government-media conspiracy will stop at nothing to smear the cause. “If there was one person who ever said something homophobic, it was on the front page of every newspaper,” she told me.

    In the days after the attack, Finkielkraut lamented not so much the grim details of what had happened but the squandered potential of a moment that has increasingly descended into paranoid feverishness. As he told me: “This was a beautiful opportunity to reflect on who we are that’s been completely ruined.”


  • Michel Wieviorka pour le NYT

    Opinion | There Really Is a French Exception - The New York Times

    Ian Langsdon/EPA, via Shutterstock

    But will the government rise to the occasion created by the Gilets jaunes movement?
    But it’s worth noting that the government hardly set up any meetings or direct exchanges with the Gilets jaunes as such. Instead of reaching out to them, Mr. Macron preferred to engage with local officials or other ordinary citizens.

    Nor has the great debate spawned any real representatives among the Gilets jaunes — a vacuum that makes concrete negotiations difficult. The movement’s very nature contributed to this, of course, since time and again the Gilets jaunes themselves pushed back against any attempt to structure or formalize their efforts. For a brief moment there seemed to be an impulse to create a political party from the movement or at least let emerge some official spokespeople. But that no longer seems remotely possible.

    Mr. Macron, even when faced with the breakdown of the political system itself, has continued to tackle problems from the top down and without resorting to intermediaries. Instead of moving away from this vertical approach, he has exploited it. His only credible political opponents now are parties at the extremes, on the far left (Jean-Luc Mélenchon and La France Insoumise) and the far right (Marine Le Pen and le Rassemblement National). According to polls, the president’s party is leading the race for the European elections.

    Was all this a strategic calculation? Quite probably. In any event, the situation today is a far cry from auguring the renewal of this democratic system. The most that has emerged so far is a handful of proposals from civil society — for example, the program for a greener economy jointly put forward by Nicolas Hulot, a former environment minister, and Laurent Berger, the head of France’s leading (and reformist) union, the Confédération française démocratique du travail (the French Democratic Confederation of Labor).

    France, unlike other countries, has been fortunate enough to experience a popular upheaval that has raised serious economic, social and institutional questions. Elsewhere — in Britain, the United States, Italy, Poland, Hungary — the discontent immediately lapsed into populism, nationalism or withdrawal. But if the French government doesn’t adequately address the legitimate, or at least reasonable, concerns of the Gilets jaunes, it runs the risk of pushing them, as well as other French people, toward the pitfalls France has avoided so far.

  • Étranger.e à soi

    Dans les années 1980, alors qu’elle luttait contre le cancer, Audre Lorde a affirmé que de prendre soin d’elle-même était « un acte de guerre politique ». Depuis, le self-care est devenu un mot à la mode dans les milieux activistes. La rhétorique du self-care est passée de spécifique à universelle, de provocative à obligatoire. Lorsqu’on parle de self-care aujourd’hui, parle-t-on de la même chose que Lorde ? Il est temps de réexaminer ce concept.


    / Infokiosque fantôme (partout), Corps, santé, #Anglais

    #Infokiosque_fantôme_partout_ #Corps,_santé

  • France’s class wars, by Serge Halimi & Pierre Rimbert (Le Monde diplomatique - English edition, February 2019)

    In times when social groups crystallise and there is undisguised class struggle, everyone has to choose sides. The centre ground disappears. And even the most liberal, educated and distinguished people drop any pretence of peaceful coexistence. Fear robs them of their composure.


    During the Paris Commune in 1871, there was a similar transformation of thought among intellectuals and artists, some of whom had been fair-weather progressives. The poet Leconte de Lisle was infuriated by ‘this league of all the underclass, all the useless people, all the envious, the murderers, the thieves.’ Gustave #Flaubert thought that ‘the first remedy should be to end universal suffrage, the disgrace of the human mind.’ Émile #Zola, reassured by the punishment that had resulted in 20,000 deaths and almost 40,000 arrests, thought it offered a moral for the working class: ‘The bloodbath they have just experienced was perhaps a horrible necessity to calm some of their fevers’

    #peur #gilets_jaunes « #libéral » #France

  • Arrêtées pour avoir parlé espagnol, elles poursuivent la #police des #frontières | #États-Unis

    Ana Suda et Martha Hernandez expliquent dans la plainte que M. O’Neal les a retenues pendant quarante minutes. Elles soulignent également que la première est née au Texas et la seconde en Californie.

    Dans la plainte, elles racontent qu’elles étaient en train d’attendre leur tour pour acheter du lait et des oeufs quand cet officier a fait un commentaire sur l’accent de Mme Hernandez et a demandé aux femmes leur lieu de naissance.

    « Cet incident fait partie d’une tendance plus large que nous avons observée de tactiques abusives utilisées par les agents aux frontières, qui se sont aggravées sous l’administration Trump », a indiqué à l’AFP Cody Wofsy, avocat de l’#ACLU.

    « Ca a été épouvantable » pour elles, a-t-il ajouté, rapportant qu’elles s’étaient senties « mal accueillies dans leur propre ville et dans leur propre pays ».

    Il a noté que les États-Unis n’avaient pas de #langue officielle et que l’#espagnol était, de loin, la deuxième langue la plus parlée dans le pays après l’#anglais.


  • Off Guardian : les 10 raisons pour lesquelles les Gilets jaunes sont une excellente chose

    « Regardez la tête de Jupiter ! Il ne sait pas quoi faire. Il a essayé le racisme, l’immigration, le matraquage, les gangsters, les blessures, la violence policière, la prison, le tabagisme, la répression, le mensonge et nous sommes toujours là ! ! ! ! ! Nous ne lâchons rien et continuons tous ensemble sans laisser personne de côté. Ce n’est pas facile. Nous sommes tous différents avec des idées différentes, mais nous avons un objectif commun : nous appartenons à une grande famille, nous nous querellons, mais nous nous retrouvons chaque semaine, samedi, dimanche et soir, lorsque nous le pouvons et oublions nos différences. »

    La diversité est l’un des mots clés du néolibéralisme, mais si nous réfléchissons à ces termes, nous devons également rappeler l’axiome de Nietzsche selon lequel les choses ne sont dites que lorsqu’elles disparaissent. Cependant, avec les Gilets, nous avons un exemple de vraie diversité, différente à tous égards de l’usage néo-libéral habituel dont on nous abreuve tous les jours.

    La raison fondamentale pour laquelle les Gilets jaunes diffèrent de toute révolution de couleur, voire de toute révolution majeure du XXe siècle, est précisément la manière dont cette diversité alternative fonctionne. Les Gilets construisent leur système de compréhension à l’intérieur de leur propre sphère « où chacun voit l’autre tel que l’autre le voit » (Arendt 1958). Et ils le construisent par leurs discussions.

    • [A]bstraction is the language of power, hierarchy and representation. Abstraction and its use in a political context are what unite all regimes be they communist, Nazi or neo-liberal. [Gilets] demands are simple, concrete: lower toll way charges, a ban on plastic bottles, a stop to compulsory withdrawals from personal bank accounts, an end to planned obsolescences in consumer goods just to name a few. What these demands enunciate is a world view grounded in people’s immediate lives.

    • In French:

      1. Ils ne sont pas dans l’abstraction et l’idéalisme : l’abstraction est le langage du pouvoir, de la hiérarchie et de la représentation. L’abstraction et son utilisation dans un contexte politique sont ce qui unit tous les régimes politiques, qu’ils soient communistes, nazis ou néolibéraux. Les Gilets ne sont pas de cette école. Leurs revendications sont simples et concrètes : réduction des frais de péage, interdiction des bouteilles en plastique, cessation des retraits obligatoires dans des comptes bancaires personnels, cessation de l’obsolescence programmée dans les biens de consommation, pour n’en nommer que quelques-uns. Ce que ces revendications énoncent est une vision du monde enracinée dans la vie immédiate des gens. Les Gilets Jaunes disent des choses comme :

      « Je suis dans la merde, je travaille 2 heures par jour pour un petit salaire de 240 euros/mois avec un supplément CAF ! »

  • Deux mois après le début du mouvement des Gilets Jaunes, j’ai terminé une revue de presse sur la question (dans le but d’écrire un article à l’attention de mes ami.e.s anglophones du Canada, mais je ne sais pas si ça arrivera un jour). Je sais que d’autres se sont déjà essayés à une telle revue de presse, mais tant pis, voici la mienne qui n’essaye pas du tout d’être exhaustive :

    (1) Prémices :

    Cette guerre de basse intensité contre toute forme de révolte
    Gaspard d’Allens, Reporterre, le 13 novembre 2018

    (2) Effets sur le commerce :

    (3) Répression policière et judiciaire (et même l’armée maintenant !) :


    (4) Soutien et répression des lycéen.ne.s et étudiant.e.s :

    (5) Évolution du traitement syndical et médiatique :

    Gilets jaunes : ça bouge chez les syndicats
    Arthur Brault-Moreau, Regards, le 30 novembre 2018

    Les directions syndicales répondent à l’appel de Macron pour maintenir l’ordre contre les gilets jaunes
    Damien Bernard, Révolution Permanente, le 6 décembre 2018

    Les Gilets jaunes se font une place dans les médias et l’agenda politique
    Brigitte Sebbah, Lucie Loubère, Natacha Souillard, Laurent Thiong-Kay, Nikos Smyrnaios, Laboratoire d’Études et de Recherches Appliquées en Sciences Sociales, Axe Médias et médiations socio-numériques - Université de Toulouse, le 7 décembre 2018

    Le traitement médiatique des Gilets Jaunes : un mois de propagande pro-Macron
    Marion Beauvalet, Le Vent se Lève, le 29 décembre 2018

    (6) Tentatives d’enquêtes sociologiques :

    Qui sont et que veulent les « gilets jaunes » ?
    Benoît Coquard, Contretemps, le 23 novembre 2018

    « Gilets jaunes » : une enquête pionnière sur la « révolte des revenus modestes »
    Collectif, Le Monde, le 11 décembre 2018

    Enquête. Les gilets jaunes ont-ils une couleur politique  ?
    Collectif "Quantité critique", L’Humanité, le 19 décembre 2018

    Le mouvement des “gilets jaunes” est avant tout une demande de revalorisation du travail
    Sylvia Zappi, Le Monde, le 24 décembre 2018

    « Le mouvement des “gilets jaunes” n’est pas un rassemblement aux revendications hétéroclites »
    Jean-Yves Dormagen et Geoffrey Pion, Le Monde, le 27 décembre 2018

    Qui sont vraiment les « gilets jaunes » ? Les résultats d’une étude sociologique
    Tristan Guerra, Frédéric Gonthier, Chloé Alexandre, Florent Gougou et Simon Persico, Le Monde, le 26 janvier 2019

    Voir aussi :

    Après dix semaines de mobilisation, comment la police analyse le mouvement des « gilets jaunes »
    Elise Vincent et Nicolas Chapuis, Le Monde, le 26 janvier 2019

    Le fond de l’air est jaune : comprendre une révolte inédite
    Jean-Claude Monod, Etienne Balibar, Ludivine Bantigny, Louis Chauvel, Isabelle Coutant, Aurélien Delpirou, Olivier Ertzscheid, Michaël Foessel, David Graeber, Samuel Hayat, Thomas Piketty, Pierre Rosanvallon, Alexis Spire, Sophie Wahnich et Michelle Zancarini-Fournel
    Seuil, 2019

    Gilets jaunes : hypothèses sur un mouvement
    La Découverte, 2019

    Les gilets jaunes ou le retour de la lutte des classes
    Luc ROUBAN, Sciences Po CEVIPOF, janvier 2019

    Rencontres aux ronds-points
    Raphaël Challier, La Vie des Idées, le 19 février 2019

    Un public éloigné des traits sociologiques des gilets jaunes
    Simon Blin, Clara Dealberto et Julien Guillot, Libération, le 14 mars 2019

    (7) Analyses (pas le plus intéressant, mais c’est pour savoir ce que pensent les "intellectuel.le.s") :

    La couleur des gilets jaunes
    Aurélien Delpirou, La vie des idées, le 23 novembre 2018

    De quelle couleur sont les gilets jaunes ?
    Rafik Chekkat, Etat d’exception, le 24 novembre 2018

    Omar Slaouti : « Nous organiser »
    Ballast, le 28 novembre 2018

    Deux ou trois choses dont je suis presque certain à propos des « gilets jaunes »
    Laurent Mucchielli, The Conversation, le 4 décembre 2018

    Edouard Louis, Facebook, le 4 décembre 2018

    Les Gilets Jaunes, l’économie morale et le pouvoir
    Samuel Hayat, le 5 décembre 2018

    Au sujet des « gilets jaunes », je ne sais sur quel pied danser
    Titiou Lecoq, Slate, le 7 décembre 2018

    Gilets jaunes : le sens du face à face
    Etienne Balibar, Médiapart, le 13 décembre 2018

    Les Gilets jaunes et la question démocratique
    Samuel Hayat, le 24 décembre 2018

    Franck Lepage : « Le gilet jaune est le symbole d’une conscience de classe qui est en train de renaître »
    Kevin Amara, Comptoir, le 26 décembre 2018

    « Les “gilets jaunes” veulent rompre avec le sentiment de dépossession »
    Ivan Bruneau et Julian Mischi, Le Monde, le 2 janvier 2019

    Des « gilets jaunes » composites et des gauches embrumées
    Philippe Corcuff, Médiapart, le 3 janvier 2019

    Les vertus de l’inexplicable – à propos des « gilets jaunes »
    Jacques Rancière, AOC, le 8 janvier 2019

    Eric Fassin : « Quand on rejette l’opposition gauche/droite et la représentation politique, ça finit rarement à gauche »
    Pierre JacquemainRegard, le 14 janvier 2019

    Gilets Jaunes, l’urgence de l’acte
    Stathis Kouvélakis, Contretemps, le 21 janvier 2019

    Toni Negri : « Les gilets jaunes sont à la mesure de l’écroulement de la politique »
    Amélie Poinssot, Médiapart, le 29 janvier 2019

    Bruno Latour : « Les Gilets jaunes sont des migrants de l’intérieur quittés par leur pays »
    Hervé Kempf, Reporterre, le 16 février 2019

    Samuel Hayat : « Les mouvements d’émancipation doivent s’adapter aux circonstances »
    Ballast, le 20 février 2019

    Dépolitiser les gilets jaunes
    André Gunthert, Médiapart, le 22 février 2019

    Le mépris de classe des années 1930 à nos jours
    Gérard Noiriel, le 1er mars 2019

    Les gilets jaunes ont été réduits à une foule laide, haineuse et antisémite
    Edwy Plenel, RTS, le 6 mars 2019

    Fonder des territoires
    Raoul Vaneigem, Ballast, le 2 mai 2019

    Gilets jaunes  : nous ne sommes pas dupes   !
    Des personnalités du monde de la culture, Libération, le 4 mai 2019

    (8) En anglais :

    The mass protests in France : A new stage in the international class struggle
    Le Comité de rédaction du World Socialist Web Site, le 3 décembre 2018

    The undead centre meets the shitstorm
    Richard Seymour, Patreon, le 7 décembre 2018

    To Understand France’s Crisis, You Must First Understand Its Cheese
    Karl Sharro, BuzzFeed, le 20 décembre 2018

    Popular Uprising in Paris and Left’s Fear of Populism (et compilation d’articles en #anglais)
    Ranabir Samaddar, Alternatives international, le 14 décembre 2018

    Use of Force in France’s ‘Yellow Vest’ Protests Fuels Anger
    Elian Peltier, The New-York Times, le 28 janvier 2018

    10 reasons the Gilets Jaunes are the real deal
    David Studdert, Off Guardian, le 10 février 2019

    France’s class wars
    Serge Halimi & Pierre Rimbert, Le Monde Diplomatique, février 2019

    There Really Is a French Exception
    Michel Wieviorka, The New-York Times, le 15 mars 2019

    Low Visibility (excellent)
    James McAuley, The New-York Review of Books, le 21 mars 2019

    (9) Audio-visuel :

    ELO#351 - Gilets Jaunes et Musique
    Dror, Entre Les Oreilles, le 12 décembre 2018

    Des images du Siné Mensuel de décembre 2018

    Après le Grand Blabla gouvernemental, retour sur quelques doléances murales
    Yves Pagès, le 29 avril 2019

    #Gilets_Jaunes #France #Violence_policière #Violences_policières #brutalité_policière #répression #universités #lycées #syndicats #média #sociologues #intellectuels #enquêtes #analyses #droite #gauche #recension

  • Il n’y a pas beaucoup d’articles en anglais sur les #Gilets_Jaunes, et celui ci tombe dans certains pièges, mais il est plutôt meilleur que la moyenne :

    Popular Uprising in Paris and Left’s Fear of Populism
    Ranabir Samaddar, Alternatives international, le 14 décembre 2018

    Ca, par exemple, c’est trop précis pour être vrai :

    The Yellow Vests call for : (a) No one be left homeless ; (b) end of the austerity policy ; cancellation of interest on illegitimate debt ; end of taxing the poor to pay back the debt ; recovery of the 85 billion Euros of fiscal fraud ; (c) creation of a true integration policy, with French language, history and civics courses for immigrants ; (d) minimum salary €1500 per month ; (e) giving privilege to city and village centres by stopping building of huge shopping malls and arcades ; (f) more progressive income tax rates ; and finally (g) more taxes on big companies like Mac Donald’s, Google, Amazon and Carrefour, and low taxes on little artisans.

    Mais ça c’est pas mal :

    The rebels donning yellow breakdown-safety vests required to keep in their cars by the government have spurned political parties. They got organized on social media, and began acting locally. The movement spread in this way on successive Saturdays. Saturdays, because on working days women raising kids with their precarious jobs cannot strike. Thus, women receptionists, hostesses, nurses, teachers have come out in unusually large numbers. It is not the banal strike that the Left engages in, but something more. The Left in France as elsewhere has surrendered before the neo-liberal, pro-business counter-reforms. The union leaders are eager to keep their place at the table. They only go through the motions of carrying out strikes. Workers were fatigued.

    #Yellow_Vests #France

  • ’We are transforming our university into a place where talent once again feels valued and nurtured’

    Our university should once again belong to the academics, rather than the bureaucracy, writes the rector of #Ghent_University, Rik Van de Walle.

    Ghent University is deliberately choosing to step out of the rat race between individuals, departments and universities. We no longer wish to participate in the #ranking of people.

    It is a common complaint among academic staff that the mountain of paperwork, the cumbersome procedures and the administrative burden have grown to proportions that are barely controllable. Furthermore, the academic staff is increasingly put under pressure to count publications, citations and doctorates, on the basis of which funds are being allocated. The intense competition for funding often prevails over any possible collaboration across the boundaries of research groups, faculties and - why not - universities. With a new evaluation policy, Ghent University wants to address these concerns and at the same time breathe new life into its career guidance policy. Thus, the university can again become a place where talent feels valued and nurtured.

    We are transforming our university into a place where talent once again feels valued and nurtured.

    With the new career and evaluation model for professorial staff, Ghent University is opening new horizons for Flanders. The main idea is that the academy will once again belong to the academics rather than the bureaucracy. No more procedures and processes with always the same templates, metrics and criteria which lump everyone together.
    We opt for a radically new model: those who perform well will be promoted, with a minimum of accountability and administrative effort and a maximum of freedom and responsibility. The quality of the individual human capital is given priority: talent must be nurtured and feel valued.
    This marks the end of the personalized objectives, the annual job descriptions and the high number of evaluation documents and activity reports. Instead, the new approach is based on collaboration, collegiality and teamwork. All staff members will make commitments about how they can contribute to the objectives of the department, the education programmes, the faculty and the university.
    The evaluations will be greatly simplified and from now on only take place every five years instead of every two or four years. This should create an ’evaluation break’.

    We opt for a radically new model: those who perform well will be promoted, with a minimum of accountability and administrative effort and a maximum of freedom and responsibility. At the same time, we want to pay more attention to well-being at work: the evaluations of the supervisors will explicitly take into account the way in which they manage and coach their staff. The model must provide a response to the complaint of many young professors that quantitative parameters are predominant in the evaluation process. The well-known and overwhelming ’publication pressure’ is the most prominent exponent of this. Ghent University is deliberately choosing to step out of the rat race between individuals, departments and universities. We no longer wish to participate in the ranking of people.
    Through this model, we are expressly taking up our responsibility. In the political debate on the funding of universities and research applications, a constant argument is that we want to move away from purely competitive thinking that leaves too little room for disruptive ideas. The reply of the policy makers is of course that we must first do this within the university itself. This is a clear step in that direction, and it also shows our efforts to put our own house in order.
    With this cultural shift, Ghent University is taking the lead in Flanders, and we are proud of it. It is an initiative that is clearly in accordance with our motto: ’#Dare_to_Think'. Even more so, we dare to do it as well.
    A university is above all a place where everything can be questioned. Where opinions, procedures and habits are challenged. Where there is no place for rigidity.

    I am absolutely convinced that in a few years’ time we will see that this new approach has benefited the overall quality of our university and its people.

    #université #alternative #résistance #Ghent #Belgique #bureaucratie #bureaucratisation #compétition #collaboration #carrière #évaluation #liberté #responsabilité #performance #publish_or_perish #publication #pression_à_publier #travail

    Je rêve que mon université fasse aussi un grand pas en cette direction, mais je crains que ça restera un rêve...

    • THE developing ranking based on #Sustainable_Development_Goals

      New league table will be first to measure global universities’ success in delivering on UN targets

      Times Higher Education is developing a new global university ranking that aims to measure institutions’ success in delivering the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals.

      The 17 goals – which include providing inclusive and equitable quality education, achieving gender equality and fostering innovation – were adopted by the UN in 2016 and provide a framework for developing the world in a sustainable way.

      The first edition of the ranking will include metrics based on 11 SDGs, but the long-term goal is to measure performance against all 17 goals.

      Data will be collected from universities and Elsevier to produce an overall ranking of universities based on the best four or five SDGs per university. Individual rankings of the universities that are best achieving the 11 SDGs will also be published.

      The ranking will be open to all accredited universities that teach undergraduates, and the first edition will be launched at THE’s Innovation and Impact Summit in South Korea in April 2019. Data collection will begin this autumn.

      Metrics currently being explored include the number of graduates in health professions, the proportion of women in senior academic positions, and policies and practices regarding employment security.

      An initial draft of the metrics will be developed in partnership with Vertigo Ventures, an organisation that works with leading research institutions globally to help them identify, capture and report the impact of their work, and there will be a workshop on the first iteration of the methodology at THE’s World Academic Summit in Singapore later this month.

      Phil Baty, THE’s editorial director of global rankings, said that THE originally planned to launch an impact ranking based primarily on universities’ economic impact – examining their interactions with business and their development of commercially exploitable ideas – but has decided to expand its approach to cover a much wider definition of impact, based on feedback from the sector.

      While some national systems were trying to gather evidence on universities’ role in achieving the SDGs, the new ranking will be the first global attempt at measuring this activity and “moves well beyond established ranking parameters of research and reputation”, he added.

      Mr Baty said that the new table will also provide an opportunity for institutions that do not usually appear in the THE World University Rankings to feature.

      “We are working to develop metrics that enable universities across the world to evidence their impact – not just those that are located in more developed nations,” he said.



    • The English Trojan horse destroying Dutch universities

      In December, the Dutch Inspectorate of Education published the results of an investigation which suggest that in May last year the association ‘Beter Onderwijs Nederland’ (BON or Better Education Netherlands) had perfectly good reasons for filing a lawsuit against two Dutch universities and the inspectorate of education itself in an attempt to stop the unbridled anglicisation of higher education in the Netherlands.

      Had the results of the inspectorate’s investigation been available at that point, BON might perhaps have won the case by framing the arguments in their legal brief somewhat differently.

      Beyond any doubt, the investigation shows that many institutions of higher education in the Netherlands violate the Dutch Higher Education Law. In addition, it suggests that the inspectorate has failed in its task of monitoring whether these institutions comply with the relevant articles in the law (WHW 1.3 and 7.2).

      If it had indeed followed developments regarding internationalisation, as it says in the very first sentence of the investigation report’s summary, shouldn’t it – or the minister responsible – have acted accordingly years ago when all the official figures about degree programmes taught entirely in English indicated that the law was being massively ignored?

      So what does the law, issued in 1992, state with respect to the language of instruction in Dutch higher education and how does the incidence of English-only degree programmes fare against this legislation?

      Article 1.3 of the WHW dictates that institutions of higher education should advance the Dutch language proficiency of all Dutch students. The related article 7.2 states that instruction and examinations should be in Dutch, except if (a) the degree programme in question specifically aims to help them acquire another language; (b) a lecture is given by a visiting lecturer who doesn’t speak Dutch, or (c) the specific nature, organisation or quality of teaching or the origin of the students necessitates the use of a language other than Dutch.

      If 7.2c applies, the necessity of using another language should be explained in a code of conduct that is adopted by the institution’s executive board. Beyond all doubt, the law supports the idea that the default language in Dutch higher education is Dutch.

      Reaching a tipping point

      In view of the unmistakable intent of the WHW to safeguard the position of Dutch, the figures concerning the number of degree programmes completely taught in English in Dutch universities are downright stunning, and higher than anywhere else in Europe.

      In the academic year 2017-18, 23% of all bachelor degree programmes and 74% of all masters degree programmes offered by Dutch universities were entirely in English.

      Nevertheless, the anglicisation process continues. The latest numbers, issued in December 2018, show that this academic year there has been an increase of 5% for bachelor degree programmes and 2% for the masters programmes that are conducted entirely in English.

      Tipping point reached

      With these new figures, the tipping point has been reached of more programmes being taught in English than in Dutch. At the University of Twente and Maastricht University, the two universities that BON summoned to court in 2018, English saturation is nearly complete, including in bachelor degree programmes.

      The percentages of all-English programmes show that universities clearly do not act in the spirit of WHW articles 1.3 and 7.2. But do they actually violate the law?

      The inspectorate’s investigation points out that many Dutch institutions of higher education, including a couple of universities, are indeed breaking the law.

      The inquiry focused on the code of conduct mentioned in article 7.2c, such a code being obligatory in all cases where English (or any other language) instead of Dutch is used as the language of instruction. It is even required if English is the language of instruction in only part of a programme and it should always explain the need to use a language other than Dutch.

      Two of the main questions addressed in the investigation therefore were whether institutions of higher education that offer at least one programme entirely or largely in English actually have a code of conduct and, if so, whether its content complies with legal requirements.

      Seventy-seven of the 125 Dutch higher education institutions fulfilled the criteria for inclusion in the investigation, among them publicly funded research universities, universities of applied science (‘hogescholen’) and non-publicly funded institutions. Remarkably, only 43 of these 77 actually had a code of conduct so the other 34 thus clearly violated the law.

      Equally noteworthy is the fact that the need for instruction in English was not substantiated by weighty arguments in any of the 43 codes of conduct as article 7.2c requires.

      It is extremely puzzling that in about one-third of the codes of conduct a different principle than the clear ‘Dutch unless’ standard is adopted, including its opposite, the ‘English unless’ principle – and the reasons for deviating from Dutch as the default language are often not explained.

      In view of the fact that the law was issued in 1992, a final noteworthy outcome of the inspectorate’s inquiry is that half of the codes of conduct date from 2017 and 2018. One cannot help suspecting that the institutions in question may have drawn them up to retroactively legitimise their language policy, possibly responding to growing public concern about English rapidly replacing Dutch in Dutch higher education.

      Impact on internationalisation

      The main motive for providing all-English programmes is that these are strong magnets for foreign students, who, in an increasing number of programmes, outnumber their Dutch peers.

      For example, the percentage of international students among first-year psychology students at the University of Twente, Maastricht University and the University of Amsterdam rose, respectively, from 50% to 80%, from 52% to 86% and from 3% to 57% the year entire programmes were first offered in English.

      Dutch (research) universities have seen their student numbers expand substantially over the last couple of years, mainly due to the increasing influx of international students. Just this academic year the student population increased by 5%. Since 2000 universities have seen their student population grow by 68% without any proportional rise in funding.

      They have now reached a point at which they can no longer cope with the influx – there are more than 1,000 first-year students bursting out of the lecture halls in some fields of study.

      Ironically, in an attempt to gain control over the inflow of international students, the Association of Universities in the Netherlands (VSNU) is trying to get the minister’s approval for a cap on enrolment on all-English programmes in order to secure the educational quality that is jeopardised by universities’ uncontrollable growth.

      Fluency risk

      Another reason why educational quality is at risk on all-English programmes is that proficiency in a second language is generally lower than in a native language. This also applies to the Dutch, who tend to greatly overestimate their fluency in English. This lower proficiency in English impedes students’ knowledge acquisition and academic development and hampers the transfer of knowledge and skills by lecturers.

      In view of the fact that WHW article 1.3 clearly aims to foster students’ Dutch language proficiency and protect the position of Dutch in general, all-English instruction also adversely affects educational quality because it results in the opposite: a declining Dutch language proficiency in students enrolled on such programmes and the gradual disappearance of Dutch as a scientific and cultural language.

      Let there be no mistake. The opponents of anglicisation of higher education in the Netherlands do not object to the prominent presence of English in education next to Dutch. Many would even welcome the balanced presence of Dutch and English on truly bilingual programmes.

      What they instead oppose is the complete replacement of Dutch by English, as happens on all-English programmes. It is by offering these programmes on such a large scale that Dutch universities have built a Trojan horse that is now defeating them within their own walls.

      #anglicisation #anglais #langue #cheval_de_Troie

  • Des animaux assoiffés de liberté

    Combien de marches pacifiques avant la « fermeture des abattoirs » ? Combien de pétitions pour mettre fin aux massacres ? Combien de réformes avant que tous les animaux ne soient libres ? Combien de lois pour en finir avec l’expérimentation animale ? En assumant une position antispéciste anarchiste, cette brochure critique les positions réformistes et pro-étatiques de différents courants antispécistes français, et s’attaque également aux principes de domestication et de contrôle humain sur la vie des animaux (y compris quand c’est "pour leur bien").


    / #Antispécisme,_végétarisme, Infokiosque fantôme (partout), (...)

    #Infokiosque_fantôme_partout_ #Anglais

  • Accounting for ourselves

    Les abus et agressions sexuelles continuent à pourrir les espaces anarchistes. En réponse, nous avons développé des processus pour que chacun.e se responsabilise en dehors de la sphère de l’État. Mais pourquoi semblons-nous échouer dans leur application ? Cet essai examine le contexte dans lequel ces modèles de responsabilisation ont émergé et analyse les obstacles que nous avons rencontré en essayant de les appliquer. Pour sortir de l’impasse autour des violences sexuelles dans notre milieu, nous devons remettre en question l’idée même de communauté et amener notre résistance vers d’autres directions.


    / #Anarchismes,_anarchie, Féminisme, (questions de) genre, #Théories_de_l'auto-organisation, Infokiosque fantôme (partout), #Anglais, Violences patriarcales, autodéfense (...)

    #Féminisme,_questions_de_genre #Infokiosque_fantôme_partout_ #Violences_patriarcales,_autodéfense_féministe

  • Pascale Casanova : « La langue mondiale est aussi la langue du pouvoir »
    Par Jacques Drillon - Publié le 01 octobre 2018 à 12h37


    Pascale Casanova est décédée le 29 septembre à l’âge de 59 ans. Ancienne élève de Pierre Bourdieu, auteur et voix de L’Atelier littéraire sur France Culture, cette chercheuse et critique avait écrit « La République mondiale des Lettres », livre à succès traduit en anglais, japonais, espagnol ou coréen. Elle avait approfondi son étude des relations littéraires internationales avec « La langue mondiale », paru aux éditions du Seuil en 2015, dans lequel elle analysait l’anglais en tant que langue universelle. Nous reproduisons ci-dessous l’entretien paru dans « L’Obs » à cette occasion.

  • Le problème avec la polynormativité

    Coup de gueule contre les normes véhiculées par les médias sur le polyamour, ce texte montre comment certains comportements et expressions "polys" renforcent voire créent des normes au lieu de les questionner : la nécessité d’un couple "primaire", de hiérarchiser ses relations, de mettre en place tout un tas de règles, le tout dans une représentation médiatique tout autant normée et normative... « Mon problème ici concerne le modèle polynormatif et l’insistance des médias dominants sur lui – il ne concerne pas une structure de relation particulière, ni les personnes qui la pratiquent. »


    / Tout mais pas l’indifférence (nulle part), #Sexualités,_relations_affectives, (...)

    #Tout_mais_pas_l'indifférence_nulle_part_ #Anglais

  • Master a roadman’s vocabulary and your teenager might be easier to understand… | Vanessa Thorpe | From the Observer | The Guardian

    When a “roadman” (a streetwise young person) out for a stroll trips over a kerb and temporarily loses his composure, possibly dropping his iPhone, you might hear his companion cry out: “Oh. Peak for you!”

    To those over 30, it sounds a strange reaction. The “peak” of what, exactly? Embarrassment? In fact, these days this is a heartfelt commiseration, as readers familiar with current street slang will have recognised. For “peak” now means bad and, specifically, a “random” bit of bad luck, and any roadman, or rebellious teenager (are there other kinds?), understands this. Just like the word “sick”, which switched from meaning ill to something extremely good some while ago, “peak” has changed sides.

    #vocabulaire #terinologie #mots #langue #anglais

    • #terminologie

      Je suis en train de travailler sur une méthode d’indonésien de 1978 et elle varie pas mal de celle que j’utilise au quotidien, qui date de 2012. Non seulement leurs auteurs ont fait des choix perso mais en plus la langue a beaucoup changé. Un peu de simplification de la syntaxe mais surtout un lexique nouveau, dû aux besoins des gens et à leur créativité. Ça tombe bien, mon prof est terminologue.

  • Quand les hommes m’expliquent

    Introduction au concept de mansplaining. "Oui, des personnes des deux sexes surgissent lors d’événements publics pour disserter sur des choses qui n’ont rien à voir ou des théories complotistes mais cette pure confiance en soi agressive de parfaits ignorants est, dans mon expérience, genrée. Les hommes m’expliquent, à moi et à d’autres femmes, qu’ils sachent ou non de quoi ils parlent. Certains hommes. Toutes les femmes savent de quoi je parle. C’est du préjugé qui rend les choses difficiles pour toutes les femmes dans tous les domaines ; qui empêche les femmes de s’exprimer et d’être entendues quand elles osent le faire ; qui écrase les jeunes femmes et les réduit au silence en leur faisant savoir – comme le fait le harcèlement de rue – que ce monde n’est pas le leur. Il nous dresse pour le doute (...)

    #Q #Féminisme,_questions_de_genre #Infokiosque_fantôme_partout_ #Anglais

  • Numéro spécial de la revue #Fennia sur l’édition scientifique (très très bienvenu).

    Can research quality be measured quantitatively? (2017-11-07)
    Michael Richard Handley Jones

    In this article I reflect on ways in which the neoliberal university and its administrative counterpart, new public management (NPM), affect academic publishing activity. One characteristic feature of NPM is the urge to use simple numerical indicators of research output as a tool to allocate funding and, in practice if not in theory, as a means of assessing research quality. This ranges from the use of journal impact factors (IF) and ranking of journals to publication points to determine what types of work in publishing is counted as meritorious for funding allocation. I argue that it is a fallacy to attempt to assess quality of scholarship through quantitative measures of publication output. I base my arguments on my experiences of editing a Norwegian geographical journal over a period of 16 years, along with my experiences as a scholar working for many years within the Norwegian university system.


    Reclaiming value from academic labor: commentary by the Editors of Human Geography (2017-11-07)
    John C. Finn Christopher Newport University Richard Peet Graduate School of Geography, Clark University Sharlene Mollett University of Toronto, Scarborough John Lauermann Medgar Evers College, City University of New York

    There have long been discussions about the need for an alternative publishing model for academic research. This has been made clear by the September 2017 scandal involving Third World Quarterly. The editor’s deeply problematic decision to publish an essay arguing in favor of colonialism was likely meant as click-bate to drive clicks and citations. But we should not lose sight of the fact that this latest scandal is only one recent manifestation of a long-simmering problem that has periodically commanded significant attention in the academic literature, blogs, email lists, conference sessions, and the popular press. As a direct result, over the last decade or more, new journals have been created that specifically endeavor to offer routes around corporate/capitalist academic publishing, and several existing journals have removed themselves from this profit-driven ecosystem. In this commentary, the editorial team of the journal Human Geography weighs in on what we see as the nature of the problem, what we are doing in response, what our successes have been, and what challenges remain.


    Say ‘Yes!’ to peer review: Open Access publishing and the need for mutual aid in academia (2017-11-22)
    Simon Springer University of Victoria Myriam Houssay-Holzschuch Claudia Villegas Levi Gahman

    Scholars are increasingly declining to offer their services in the peer review process. There are myriad reasons for this refusal, most notably the ever-increasing pressure placed on academics to publish within the neoliberal university. Yet if you are publishing yourself then you necessarily expect someone else to review your work, which begs the question as to why this service is not being reciprocated. There is something to be said about withholding one’s labour when journals are under corporate control, but when it comes to Open Access journals such denial is effectively unacceptable. Make time for it, as others have made time for you. As editors of the independent, Open Access, non-corporate journal ACME: An International Journal for Critical Geographies, we reflect on the struggles facing our daily operations, where scholars declining to participate in peer review is the biggest obstacle we face. We argue that peer review should be considered as a form of mutual aid, which is rooted in an ethics of cooperation. The system only works if you say ‘Yes’!


    Evaluating otherwise: hierarchies and opportunities in publishing practices (2017-11-30)
    Derek Ruez University of Tampere

    This short paper responds to the provocations set out in Kirsi Pauliina Kallio’s recent editorial on ‘Subtle radical moves in scientific publishing’ and emerges out of my participation in a Fennia-organized panel at the 2017 Nordic Geographers’ Meeting where participants reflected on the challenges and opportunities of creating a more equitable and pluralistic international publishing environment. Given the dominance of English language publishing in international academic work and the broader geopolitics of knowledge production through which some contexts, approaches, and modes of knowledge are regularly devalued, I suggest that—to the extent that publishing outlets are evaluated or ranked—they should be evaluated and ranked, in part, based on their contribution to a pluralistically international academy. This revaluation could help shape the informal assessments made by scholars in the context of hiring, funding, and other key decisions. It could also be integrated into more formal channels, such as within the deliberations of the boards who produce publication rankings in, for example, Finland’s Publication Forum. Such a tactic need not preclude other work to contest rankings hierarchies and audit cultures as they advance the neoliberalization of academic work, but it does 1) suggest the importance of paying attention to what and how scholars value when we evaluate publishing outlets and 2) point toward the potential of critical and creative engagement with the range of processes (i.e. indexing, accrediting, measuring, ranking etc.) that surround and subsist within academic publishing.


    Socially just publishing: implications for geographers and their journals (2017-11-26)
    Simon Batterbury Lancaster University

    There have been a range of protests against the high journal subscription costs, and author processing charges (APCs) levied for publishing in the more prestigious and commercially run journals that are favoured by geographers. But open protests across the sector like the ‘Academic Spring’ of 2012, and challenges to commercial copyright agreements, have been fragmented and less than successful. I renew the argument for ‘socially just’ publishing in geography. For geographers this is not limited to choosing alternative publication venues. It also involves a considerable effort by senior faculty members that are assessing hiring and promotion cases, to read and assess scholarship independently of its place of publication, and to reward the efforts of colleagues that offer their work as a public good. Criteria other than the citation index and prestige of a journal need to be foregrounded. Geographers can also be publishers, and I offer my experience editing the free online Journal of Political Ecology.


    English: lingua franca or disenfranchising? (2017-12-04)
    Sara Fregonese University of Birmingham, United Kingdom

    Conceiving academic publishing as a long-term process that often includes oral communication and knowledge exchange at academic conferences, this commentary offers a critical take on English as lingua franca. Contrarily to the historical use of lingua franca as a simplified system of transnational communication that facilitates the pragmatics of economic and cultural exchange, academic English is instead used vernacularly and becomes an excluding barrier. In the writing and peer review stages of publishing, the linguistic positionality of both authors and peer reviewers thus needs more reflection in order for academic English not to become once again part of a disenfranchising process.


    #revue #édition_scientifique #publications_scientifiques #université #peer_review #anglais #langue #impact_factor #open_source #indicateurs

  • Can research quality be measured quantitatively?

    In this article I reflect on ways in which the neoliberal university and its administrative counterpart, #new_public_management (NPM), affect academic publishing activity. One characteristic feature of NPM is the urge to use simple numerical indicators of research output as a tool to allocate funding and, in practice if not in theory, as a means of assessing research quality. This ranges from the use of journal impact factors (IF) and ranking of journals to publication points to determine what types of work in publishing is counted as meritorious for funding allocation. I argue that it is a fallacy to attempt to assess quality of scholarship through quantitative measures of publication output. I base my arguments on my experiences of editing a Norwegian geographical journal over a period of 16 years, along with my experiences as a scholar working for many years within the Norwegian university system.

    #qualité #recherche #quantitativisme #université #édition_scientifique #publications_scientifiques #indicateurs #indicateurs_numériques #impact_factor #impact-factor #ranking

    • How global university rankings are changing higher education

      EARLIER this month Peking University played host to perhaps the grandest global gathering ever of the higher-education business. Senior figures from the world’s most famous universities—Harvard and Yale, Oxford and Cambridge among them—enjoyed or endured a two-hour opening ceremony followed by a packed programme of mandatory cultural events interspersed with speeches lauding “Xi Jinping thought”. The party was thrown to celebrate Peking University’s 120th birthday—and, less explicitly, China’s success in a race that started 20 years ago.

      In May 1998 Jiang Zemin, China’s president at the time, announced Project 985, named for the year and the month. Its purpose was to create world-class universities. Nian Cai Liu, a professor of polymeric materials science and engineering at Shanghai Jiao Tong University, got swept up in this initiative. “I asked myself many questions, including: what is the definition of and criteria for a world-class university? What are the positions of top Chinese universities?” Once he started benchmarking them against foreign ones, he found that “governments, universities and stakeholders from all around the world” were interested. So, in 2003, he produced the first ranking of 500 leading global institutions. Nobody, least of all the modest Professor Liu, expected the Shanghai rankings to be so popular. “Indeed, it was a real surprise.”

      People are suckers for league tables, be they of wealth, beauty, fame—or institutions of higher education. University rankings do not just feed humanity’s competitive urges. They are also an important source of consumer intelligence about a good on which people spend huge amounts of time and money, and about which precious little other information is available. Hence the existence of national league tables, such as US News & World Report’s ranking of American universities. But the creation of global league tables—there are now around 20, with Shanghai, the Times Higher Education (THE) and QS the most important—took the competition to a new level. It set not just universities, but governments, against each other.

      When the Shanghai rankings were first published, the “knowledge economy” was emerging into the global consciousness. Governments realised that great universities were no longer just sources of cultural pride and finishing schools for the children of the well-off, but the engines of future prosperity—generators of human capital, of ideas and of innovative companies.

      The rankings focused the minds of governments, particularly in countries that did badly. Every government needed a few higher-educational stars; any government that failed to create them had failed its people and lost an important global race. Europe’s poor performance was particularly galling for Germany, home of the modern research university. The government responded swiftly, announcing in 2005 an Exzellenzinitiative to channel money to institutions that might become world-class universities, and has so far spent over €4.6bn ($5.5bn) on it.

      Propelled by a combination of national pride and economic pragmatism, the idea spread swiftly that this was a global competition in which all self-respecting countries should take part. Thirty-one rich and middle-income countries have announced an excellence initiative of some sort. India, where world rankings were once regarded with post-colonial disdain, is the latest to join the race: in 2016 the finance minister announced that 20 institutions would aim to become world-class universities. The most generously funded initiatives are in France, China, Singapore, South Korea and Taiwan. The most unrealistic targets are Nigeria’s, to get at least two universities in the world’s top 200, and Russia’s, to get five in the world’s top 100, both by 2020.

      The competition to rise up the rankings has had several effects. Below the very highest rankings, still dominated by America and western Europe—America has three of the THE’s top five slots and Britain two this year—the balance of power is shifting (see chart). The rise of China is the most obvious manifestation. It has 45 universities in the Shanghai top 500 and is now the only country other than Britain or America to have two universities in the THE’s top 30. Japan is doing poorly: its highest-ranked institution, the University of Tokyo, comes in at 48 in the THE’s table. Elsewhere, Latin America and eastern Europe have lagged behind.

      The rankings race has also increased the emphasis on research. Highly cited papers provide an easily available measure of success, and, lacking any other reliable metric, that is what the league tables are based on. None of the rankings includes teaching quality, which is hard to measure and compare. Shanghai’s is purely about research; THE and QS incorporate other measures, such as “reputation”. But since the league tables themselves are one of its main determinants, reputation is not an obviously independent variable.

      Hard times

      The research boom is excellent news for humanity, which will eventually reap the benefits, and for scientific researchers. But the social sciences and humanities are not faring so well. They tend to be at a disadvantage in rankings because there are fewer soft-science or humanities journals, so hard-science papers get more citations. Shanghai makes no allowance for that, and Professor Liu admits that his ranking tends to reinforce the dominance of hard science. Phil Baty, who edits the THE’s rankings, says they do take the hard sciences’ higher citation rates into account, scoring papers by the standards of the relevant discipline.

      The hard sciences have benefited from the bounty flowing from the “excellence initiatives”. According to a study of these programmes by Jamil Salmi, author of “The Challenge of Establishing World-Class Universities”, all the programmes except Taiwan’s focused on research rather than teaching, and most of them favoured STEM subjects (science, technology, engineering and mathematics). This is no doubt one of the reasons why the numbers of scientific papers produced globally nearly doubled between 2003 and 2016.

      The rankings may be contributing to a deterioration in teaching. The quality of the research academics produce has little bearing on the quality of their teaching. Indeed, academics who are passionate about their research may be less inclined to spend their energies on students, and so there may be an inverse relationship. Since students suffer when teaching quality declines, they might be expected to push back against this. But Ellen Hazelkorn, author of “Rankings and the Reshaping of Higher Education”, argues that students “are buying prestige in the labour market”. This means “they want to go to the highest-status university possible”—and the league tables are the only available measure of status. So students, too, in effect encourage universities to spend their money on research rather than teaching.

      The result, says Simon Marginson, Oxford University’s incoming professor of higher education, is “the distribution of teaching further down the academic hierarchy”, which fosters the growth of an “academic precariat”. These PhD students and non-tenured academics do the teaching that the star professors, hired for their research abilities, shun as a chore. The British government is trying to press universities to improve teaching, by creating a “teaching-excellence framework”; but the rating is made up of a student-satisfaction survey, dropout rates and alumni earnings—interesting, but not really a measure of teaching quality. Nevertheless, says Professor Marginson, “everybody recognises this as a problem, and everybody is watching what Britain is doing.”

      A third concern is that competition for rankings encourages stratification within university systems, which in turn exacerbates social inequality. “Excellence initiatives” funnel money to top universities, whose students, even if admission is highly competitive, tend to be the children of the well-off. “Those at the top get more government resources and those at the bottom get least,” points out Ms Hazelkorn. That’s true even in Britain, which, despite not having an excellence initiative, favours top universities through the allocation of research money. According to a study of over 120 universities by Alison Wolf of King’s College London and Andrew Jenkins of University College London, the Russell Group, a self-selected elite of 24 universities, get nearly half of the funding for the entire sector, and increased their share from 44.7% in 2001-02 to 49.1% in 2013-14.

      The rankings race draws other complaints. Some universities have hired “rankings managers”, which critics argue is not a good use of resources. Saudi Arabian universities have been accused of giving highly cited academics lucrative part-time contracts and requiring them to use their Saudi affiliation when publishing.

      Intellectual citizens of nowhere

      Notwithstanding its downsides, the rankings race has encouraged a benign trend with far-reaching implications: internationalisation. The top level of academia, particularly in the sciences, is perhaps the world’s most international community, as Professor Marginson’s work shows. Whereas around 4% of first-degree students in the OECD study abroad, a quarter of PhD students do. Research is getting more global: 22% of science and engineering papers were internationally co-authored in 2016, up from 16% in 2003. The rankings, which give marks for international co-authorship, encourage this trend. That is one reason why Japan, whose universities are as insular as its culture, lags. As research grows—in 2000-14 the annual number of PhDs awarded rose by half in America, doubled in Britain and quintupled in China—so does the size and importance of this multinational network.

      Researchers work together across borders on borderless problems—from climate change to artificial intelligence. They gather at conferences, spend time in each other’s universities and spread knowledge and scholarship across the world. Forced to publish in English, they share at least one language. They befriend each other, marry each other and support each other, politically as well as intellectually. Last year, for instance, when Cambridge University Press blocked online access to hundreds of articles on sensitive subjects, including the Tiananmen Square massacre, at the request of the Chinese government, it faced international protests, and an American academic launched a petition which was signed by over 1,500 academics around the world. CUP backed down.

      The rankings race is thus marked by a happy irony. Driven in part by nationalistic urges, it has fostered the growth of a community that knows no borders. Critics are right that governments and universities obsess too much about rankings. Yet the world benefits from the growth of this productive, international body of scholars.


      #Chine #classement_de_Shanghai #compétition #classement #ranking #QS #Times_Higher_Education #THE #excellence #Exzellenzinitiative #Allemagne #Inde #France #Singapour #Taïwan #Corée_du_Sud #Nigeria #Russie #USA #Etats-Unis #Angleterre #UK #recherche #publications #publications_scientifiques #enseignement #réputation #sciences_sociales #sciences_dures #précarité #précarisation #travail #inégalités #anglais #langue #internationalisation #globalisation #mondialisation

      La fin est très en phase avec le journal qui a publié cet article, hélas :

      Critics are right that governments and universities obsess too much about rankings. Yet the world benefits from the growth of this productive, international body of scholars.

      La première version de cet article a été apparemment corrigée :

      Correction (May 22nd, 2018): An earlier version of this piece suggested that non-English data and books are not included in the rankings. This is incorrect. The article has been amended to remove that assertion.

      –-> mais en fait, en réalité, il n’aurait pas dû l’être. Pour avoir expérimenté moi-même une fois le #H-index sur ma liste de publications, je peux vous dire qu’aucun article en d’autres langues que l’anglais avait été retenu dans l’index. Et même pas tous les articles en anglais que j’ai publiés...

  • Mon Edge est tout sauf Straight : vers une critique queer radicale de la culture de l’intoxication

    "J’ai toujours été intentionnellement sobre depuis que j’ai commencé à aller à des concerts punks lorsque j’avais 14 ou 15 ans, et j’ai toujours vu ma sobriété non comme une préférence personnelle mais comme une revendication sociale et politique, bien que je me sois toujours senti ambivalent au sujet de l’identité straight-edge, une des principales raisons étant que je #M'identifie fortement aussi comme queer (...). D’un côté, je n’ai pas ressenti beaucoup d’espace pour être moi-même queer dans la plupart des scènes punk/hardcore, et la réputation hyper-masculine du straight-edge me rebute profondément. De l’autre côté, j’ai affronté beaucoup d’exclusion au sein des scènes queer en raison de ma sobriété. Avec cet article je tente de réconcilier ces parties de moi-même, me demandant comment je pourrais (...)

    #Art,_Culture #Infokiosque_fantôme_partout_ #Corps,_santé #Transpédégouines,_queer #Anglais #Espagnol

  • Communisation : le déclin sénile de l’anarchie

    Ce texte, traduit en #Anglais et diffusé en juin 2015, a été écrit par les membres emprisonnés de la Conspiration des Cellules de Feu en Grèce. Sommaire I- Marxisme figé II - Surpasser les mythes révolutionnaires III - A propos d’Anarchie Noire


    / #Anarchismes,_anarchie, #Agitations_armées, Anglais, Tendresse et vandalisme (nomades)


  • Que révèle le plurilinguisme libanais ?

    Au Liban, il n’est pas rare d’entendre, dans une même phrase, des mots d’#arabe, d’#anglais et de #français. Cette habitude d’une partie de la population constitue, à bien des égards, un trait distinctif du Liban au sein de la région lévantine. Antonin Python se penche sur ce qu’un tel mélange linguistique nous dit du pays.


    #plurilinguisme #Liban #langues #franglarabe

  • Idiots utiles à Paris Le Devoir - 27 février 2017 - Jean-Benoît Nadeau

    Ainsi, Made for Sharing sera le slogan officiel de la Ville de Paris pour sa candidature aux « Olympic Games » de « Twenty Twenty-Four ». On ne sait trop s’il faut rire ou pleurer. Made for joking or made for crying ?
    Lorsque j’ai appris la chose, j’ai tout de suite pensé à Aplusbégalix, ce personnage de chef gallo-romain assimilé, dans l’album Le combat des chefs, sans doute le meilleur de la série Astérix et certainement celui qui a le mieux vieilli.
    Goscinny et Uderzo ont brillamment utilisé les Romains pour incarner à la fois l’histoire récente (20 ans après la fin de l’Occupation allemande), mais aussi l’actualité du temps. L’album est paru l’année même (1964) où René Étiemble publiait l’essai Parlez-vous franglais ?.
    Le plus comique du slogan Made for Sharing est la réaction goguenarde de la presse anglo-américaine, dans le registre « On n’en demandait pas tant ». A-t-on vu un seul anglophone remercier Paris de se faire comprendre ? La Ville a produit un slogan qui ne lui donne rien, sauf le fait de se ridiculiser.
    On est frappé de l’indigence de l’argument du comité parisien : on ne peut vendre Paris au CIO qu’en anglais, alors que 16 des 95 membres votant viennent de pays francophones et que plus de la moitié ont certainement des notions de français. Après tout, la langue française est la plus enseignée au monde, après l’anglais. Et puis, le français est l’autre langue officielle du CIO.
    Au fond, les Parisiens jouent ici le rôle d’idiots utiles. S’il y a bien un moment dans l’histoire où l’anglais incarne le repli, c’est maintenant. En effet, la Ville de Paris fait la propagande de l’universalisme de l’anglais alors même que les Britanniques et les Américains, à travers le Brexit et l’élection de Trump, rejettent leur rôle de pays phares de l’internationalisme.
    Ce n’est pas la première fois que les Parisiens tiennent ce rôle. Dans les années 1950, les communistes français adoptaient des idéaux staliniens qu’ils savaient faux. Et si la France a renoncé à ses arpents de neige au Canada au XVIIIe siècle, c’est d’abord parce qu’une série de penseurs imbus d’idées anglaises défendaient une philosophie économique à laquelle les Anglais eux-mêmes n’adhéraient plus.
    Et, de Paris, nous assistons impuissants au lâchage du français alors même que cette langue commence à s’incarner dans un ensemble mondialisé francophone aux antipodes du repli identitaire.
    Le culte du cargo  
    Ce désamour a plusieurs causes, que j’ai déjà expliquées dans d’autres chroniques et que je ne répéterai pas. Mais à la réflexion, j’y vois aussi une fascination morbide évocatrice du « culte du cargo ».
    Le culte du cargo est une espèce de religion qui s’est développée dans les îles du Pacifique Sud sous l’effet de la colonisation européenne, et qui a connu son apogée pendant la Seconde Guerre mondiale. Pour les insulaires frappés par la richesse et la puissance des Occidentaux et des Japonais, seule une faveur divine peut expliquer l’abondance et le perfectionnement des biens débarqués du bateau ou de l’avion. Une fois les conquérants repartis, les insulaires appelaient le cargo en construisant des avions en bois, des radios en noix de coco, des antennes en bambou.
    Il y a de ça dans la fascination des Français pour l’anglais : la tentation de singer la modernité incarnée par le monde « anglo-saxon » dans l’espoir d’en récolter les fruits. D’où les modes anglophiles souvent ridicules et l’abus d’anglicismes, comme un appel désespéré pour des bienfaits que l’on espère sans en comprendre l’essentiel.
    L’autre facteur, qui influence les Français à droite comme à gauche, c’est ce que j’appellerais le « réflexe universaliste », qui leur fait voir de l’universel jusque dans leur soupe. Ayant imaginé pendant quelques générations que le français était universel (ce qu’il n’a jamais été), ils attachent désormais cette propriété à l’anglais (qui ne l’est pas plus). Ce réflexe universaliste fait que les Parisiens, qui ont beaucoup de mal à s’enseigner les langues étrangères, imaginent que le monde est aussi peu doué qu’eux.
    Mais ce qui nuit le plus à la perception de la langue française parmi les élites parisiennes, c’est que celle-ci soit si mal défendue par de mauvais avocats, engoncés dans de vieux discours sur le génie de la langue ou dans un méchant purisme qui sert de prétexte pour exprimer les idées les plus rétrogrades et, trop souvent, le rejet de l’autre. Armés de leurs mauvais arguments, ils agissent comme repoussoir.
    Défendre le français ne consiste pas à rejeter l’anglais : après tout, les langues ont le propre de s’additionner. Mais défendre sa propre langue, c’est d’abord user du privilège de se dire dans celle-ci. French is made for saying.
    #PS #Paris #jeux_olympiques #olympic_games #ridicule #idiots_utiles #Français #Anglais #Francophonie #Cargo_culte #modernité #élites_parisiennes