Sciences Po Paris
  • Paris, France
Recent publications
This issue addresses the hybridization of urban electricity configurations in cities of the Global South. The hybridization process is shaped by the interplay of two infrastructural trends that transform cities, the patchy and limited extension of the conventional grid and the widespread socio-technical heterogeneity that recent research has highlighted. The case studies presented in the issue vary according to two main criteria. First, they straddle a wide variety of urban settlements, from city-center and relatively wealthy districts to poor areas and urbanizing peripheries. They also take into consideration various stages in the development of the grid and their uneven levels of service, between dynamic deployment pushed by state techno-politics and situations of regress or even collapse, forcing users to adapt. Two cross-cutting results emerge. First, the widespread and ever extending heterogeneity does not eliminate the grid but transforms it through various material and institutional interfaces and intermediations aiming at securing energy supply and operations. Second, the process makes way for an increased presence of private actors. These trends leave a twofold question unanswered. How and with which policies and tools to govern the hybridized energy configurations in order to promote energy justice and to enable clean energy transitions?
The issue of working out a viable relationship between accepting and/or living with diversity on the one hand and fostering integration on the other has occupied public debates, political agendas, and social sciences for decades. Our point of departure is that the contemporary European context provides distinct challenges. We need to understand how postmigrant integration is shaped and conditioned by the European public space understood as a geographical space; a composite of legally and institutionally constituted entities; covering nations, regions, and cities mainly within but also beyond the EU; and a site of interaction, and public expression of contestation and cooperation. In so doing, we have to contend with the fact that such important perspectives for handling diversity as multiculturalism, interculturalism, transnationalism and cosmopolitanism occupy distinct roles within the European public space whose governance is multi-levelled yet not reducible to a single tiered system. The European public space is more encompassing than the EU even while that level of governance has some important regulative functions upon member states and to some extent even on non-EU states such as Norway and the UK, especially in what we refer to as the outer circle. While the national level is the most powerful normatively and by most other measures on the inclusion of difference (our inner circle), municipalities also contribute to the constitution of this space. We explore the logics of our four ‘isms’ and of the tiers of governance and their interaction with each other, both the isms in tensions and syntheses with each other and differentially in relation to the levels of governance. This is an exercise that has not been done before. Our purpose is to suggest a new normativity that might feasibly achieve a broader degree of support and success than any of the isms have achieved alone.
Information represents an essential input in social processes influencing human sentiment, attitudes, and behavior. With the rise of internet, information consumption habits have changed. The standard process of consuming news via traditional mass media (such as newspapers, radio and television) is now substituted, or complemented by news consumption via online sources. We study the effects of this behavioral change on environmental attitudes in Europe. More precisely, we ask whether this change has contributed to increased polarisation in environmental attitudes. We utilize a large-scale survey data across multiple European countries in the period from 2002 to 2010. We find evidence that traditional media (television, radio and newspapers) consumption, as well as internet use is associated with pro-environmental attitudes. Importantly, we also show that political preferences of an individual moderate the manner in which internet use is related to environmental attitudes. Among progressive and green voters, greater internet use is positively correlated with environmental attitudes. Among conservative voters, internet use appears to be negatively related to environmental attitudes. The pattern is similar, but much weaker, for TV consumption which constitutes a similar high-choice environment (compared to radio and newspapers). These results support the notion that internet use tends to strengthen people’s pre-existing beliefs (measured by voting behavior), much beyond the effect of TV viewership.
On 12 November 1989, three days after the fall of the Berlin Wall, Achille Occhetto, the Secretary of the Italian Communist Party (PCI), announced that the Party needed to transform itself, implicitly including changing its name. His announcement launched a 15-month-long process that culminated in the dissolution of the PCI and the rise of a new political organisation, which became a member of the Socialist International. Drawing on the individual and collective memories of former Turinese PCI officials, this essay examines the complex, tortuous abandonment of the communist reference and the disintegration of the political community surrounding the Party. Because of their highly varied reactions, the dissolution of the PCI caused fragmentation of the subsequent careers and paths of former Party ‘comrades’. To this day, the 1989 turning point continues to inspire highly diverse memories among former Italian communists.
The great merit of Populism in Global Perspective, edited by Pierre Ostiguy, Francisco Panizza and Benjamin Moffitt, is the quest to reconcile two critical approaches in populism studies. For over a decade, the discursive strand – drawing on Ernesto Laclau and the so-called Essex School – and the sociocultural or performative strand of populism studies have been fellow travellers. Both oppose the mainstream approaches, which demonise populism as an undemocratic phenomenon. The two critical perspectives understand that populism is much more complex and that in several cases the appeal to “the people” against the “elites” can be democratising, denaturalising hierarchies and giving voice to the voiceless. Despite their proximity, however, these two currents have never unified. In this volume, which integrates theoretical reflections and case studies, one finds a first and important step in the creation of an articulated “discursive-performative” paradigm.
Over the past decade, the European Union (EU) has faced a number of severe crises threatening its core policy regimes and the future of its polity. Potentially existential crises, such as the Eurozone, migration, and Covid-19 crises, require political leaders who are able and willing to give orientation and provide stability. This article argues that France and Germany, as the Union’s two largest member states, have been key for EU stabilization and (further) integration, especially in times of crisis. Thanks to their ‘embedded bilateralism’, France and Germany have available important resources that other member states and the EU’s supranational institutions are lacking. Yet, the emergence of Franco-German leadership and its impact on EU stabilization and integration depend on the demand for leadership, reflecting the status quo costs across the EU and the supply of leadership as the result of relevant Franco-German capacities. Demand and supply factors explain the varying record of Franco-German leadership and stabilization in the three EU crises under consideration.
Both proponents and critics of the regulatory state thesis view the creation of non-majoritarian institutions, such as independent regulatory agencies, as a process of ‘depoliticisation’. This article problematises this assumption by proposing an analytical framework for better understanding the link between politicisation, depoliticisation, and the delegation of powers to non-majoritarian institutions, based on a study of drug rationing policies in England and France. A greater delegation of decision-making powers to a regulator enables policy decisions that are likely to prove politically costly, but such decisions are also likely to attract greater counter-mobilisation, undermining policy stability over time. By contrast, in a less delegated setting, elected politicians can prevent unpopular policy choices from being taken, which contributes to policy continuity. The article further argues that, where decision-making powers are highly delegated, the regulator’s autonomy and the visibility of losses imposed by policy decisions condition the politicisation process. These findings suggest that, far from depoliticising policy problems, delegated policymaking insulated from politics can undermine itself by becoming a source of subsequent politicisation; they thus question the prevailing notion that delegation to non-majoritarian institutions contributes to policy stability.
Why are some people motivated to circulate hostile political information? While prior studies have focused on partisan motivations, we demonstrate that some individuals circulate hostile rumors because they wish to unleash chaos to “burn down” the entire political order in the hope they gain status in the process. To understand this psychology, we theorize and measure a novel psychological state, the Need for Chaos, emerging in an interplay of social marginalization and status-oriented personalities. Across eight studies of individuals living in the United States, we show that this need is a strong predictor of motivations to share hostile political rumors, even after accounting for partisan motivations, and can help illuminate differences and commonalities in the frustrations of both historically privileged and marginalized groups. To stem the tide of hostility on social media, the present findings suggest that real-world policy solutions are needed to address social frustrations in the United States.
Based on a quantitative study of 3000 young French people aged 18 to 25 and qualitative interviews conducted with grandchildren of families affected by the Algerian war, this research proposes an exploration of young people’s memory of this very controversial past in French society. It demonstrates that family history and politicization are both vectors of knowledge and interest in this history. However, if family history simply explains a greater interest in this history, the judgement on the past and its actors remains determined by young people’s political orientations. Issues of otherness and negative perceptions of Algerians, Muslims, and Arabs are at the heart of this contemporary political cleavage.
This discussion of Eric Monnet's idea of a European Credit Council evaluates the likely consequences of such a new institution. Based on a critical examination of the notion of economic expertise, it warns that such a council might legitimate an untenable status quo, while bringing little positive benefits. Such a council could however exercise a subversive role if its counterexpertise were to expose the limits to central bank independence in the context of the climate crisis, thus undermining the current set-up. Yet to play such a role would require a degree of confrontation which is unlikely to emerge from the council's envisioned setup.
The ‘practice turn’ in European Union (EU) studies has shown that everyday actions, notably discursive practices, are consequential for producing European integration. Yet, an important development has been overlooked by scholars: the emergence of a ‘European sovereignty’ discourse in EU politics. Since President Emmanuel Macron's Sorbonne speech in September 2017, the EU policy of the French government has been structured around the affirmed objective of building ‘European sovereignty’. It supposes that the EU should become more geopolitical and not shy away from defending its own interests in an increasingly disorderly and hostile world. This article enquires into the objectives that President Macron and the French government have sought to realise by introducing this discourse into EU politics. We argue that ‘European sovereignty’ is a discursive practice that instrumentalises security threats to the EU in order to legitimise France's economic policy objectives, most notably the reform of EU competition policy. Our findings derive not only from publicly available documents and speeches but also 72 semi‐directed interviews.
Consensus is a key feature of the European Union. In the European Parliament, most legislation is adopted by a grand coalition between the left and the right. While this trans-partisan cooperation has always been informal, the epp and s&d groups agreed on a formal political coalition in 2014. For the first time in the ep ’s history, this grand coalition was based on a policy programme negotiated by the two groups’ leadership. Based on roll-call vote data, this paper aims to understand the impact of this deal on actual coalition-building in the ep plenary. We find that the 2014 coalition deal provided a framework that incentivises legislative actors to increase their levels of cooperation on the issues on which they usually cooperate the least.
The article reviews the recent advances in comparative political economy. It reconnects knowledge on growth regimes and welfare regimes by analyzing how growth and welfare regimes covary over both time and space. It underlines the fact that governments pursue different growth strategies to adjust to new economic environments, focusing in particular on welfare state reforms. Synthesizing the literature, we propose a definition of growth and welfare regimes that integrates different engines of growth as a way to track general trends in the evolution of capitalism. We analyze the main trends of three eras of capitalism: Fordism, neoliberal financialization, and the digitalized knowledge-based economy. We trace the various paths of change by identifying the five growth strategies governments have pursued to adapt their growth and welfare regimes to the new capitalist era. The result is not a typology of fixed types of capitalist models but a dynamic process of adjustment. Expected final online publication date for the Annual Review of Political Science, Volume 26 is June 2023. Please see for revised estimates.
Pacific Island actors have long called for climate justice in the international climate regime, particularly in the form of financial support. While climate finance can be conceptualised as a mechanism of climate justice, the extent to which climate finance does indeed contribute to climate justice is contested. We explore these contestations by looking at Australia’s development programme in the Pacific between 2010 and 2019, examining both policy documents and climate finance flows to the Pacific. This analysis is conducted through a climate justice lens that we conceptualise as consisting of three dimensions: adequacy, additionality and predictability; balance between adaptation and mitigation and priority provision of adaptation finance to vulnerable recipients; and, donor coordination. Our analysis shows that Australian public climate finance has not acted as a mechanism of climate justice in the period studied, even if does meet some criteria of climate justice. From a justice perspective, Australia has approached climate change inconsistently and at times incoherently across its development program in Pacific Island countries. These results provide important lessons for Australia’s approach going forward, under a new government and a new development policy framework.
In recent years, both inside and outside France, scholars and policymakers have emphasized a small and declining French influence on European politics and the political direction of the European Union (EU). By contrast, in 2022, at the end of President Emmanuel Macron’s first term in office, the EU increasingly follows French preferences and ideas. We argue that this renewed French clout is due to the interplay of factors located at different levels of government: a centralized political system and careful preparation of policy objectives at the domestic level, together with a more balanced bilateral relationship with Germany and several exogenous shocks hitting the EU, enabled the French President to upload national policy priorities to the European level. We combine a longer-term perspective, which considers the formulation and pursuit of national strategies, with moments of crisis altering the EU’s status quo and leading member states to promote change. We demonstrate France’s influence on EU politics based on developments in three policy fields, namely fiscal policy, competition policy, and defense industrial policy.
To what extent has the learning progress of school-aged children slowed down during the COVID-19 pandemic? A growing number of studies address this question, but findings vary depending on context. Here we conduct a pre-registered systematic review, quality appraisal and meta-analysis of 42 studies across 15 countries to assess the magnitude of learning deficits during the pandemic. We find a substantial overall learning deficit (Cohen’s d = −0.14, 95% confidence interval −0.17 to −0.10), which arose early in the pandemic and persists over time. Learning deficits are particularly large among children from low socio-economic backgrounds. They are also larger in maths than in reading and in middle-income countries relative to high-income countries. There is a lack of evidence on learning progress during the pandemic in low-income countries. Future research should address this evidence gap and avoid the common risks of bias that we identify.
Recent years have witnessed significant democratic erosion, particularly in eastern Europe. This article suggests that the explanations of democratic backsliding, largely focused on historical and post-communist experiences of the this region, fail to note the striking and counterintuitive influence of ethnic politics. Departing from an observation that democratic practices have deteriorated significantly more in eastern European countries without mobilized ethnic minorities, this article argues for the central role of ethnic politics in buttressing democracy in the region. In countries with politically organized ethnic minorities, democratic institutions and practices remain more resilient. This is because mobilized ethnic minorities provide socially rooted electorates with almost an existential need for political rights and civil liberties. Active minority engagement in politics reinforces a constitutionally liberal pole of political competition and provides a counterbalance to the primary carriers of democratic regression—illiberal parties.
It is well-known that the more educated people are, the more liberal views they tend to express. However, it is unclear whether this is due to college attendance itself or because those who go to college differ from those who do not in ways (directly or indirectly) related to their later political identification. In this paper, we therefore attempt to estimate the effect of college on political identification net of people's tendencies to select into college using an inverse probability of treatment weighting approach. Based on data from the General Social Survey, we analyze how this effect has changed over time and whether college affects the political identification of women in the same ways as that of men. We find evidence consistent with the argument that college attendance politicizes both men and women. Moreover, we show that not only the general, but also the gender specific effects change markedly across the decades. This raises questions about the different mechanisms at play in how college mobilizes men and women politically.
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7,928 members
Marco Cremaschi
  • Centre d'études européennes (CEE)? Ecole Urbaine
Matthias Thiemann
  • Centre d'études européennes (CEE)
Denis Fougere
  • Département d’économie
Martial Foucault
  • Département de science politique & CEVIPOF (CNRS)
Lionel Nesta
  • Observatoire français des conjonctures économiques (OFCE)
Paris, France