Political Communication: from international institutionalization to national conquest of scientific legitimacy
This chapter provides a panorama of the community of scholars in France who work on political communication broadly understood and situates that body of work in the fundamentally interdisciplinary international field of political communication. The study of political communication in France, largely conducted by political scientists, has had to struggle to have its scientific credibility acknowledged both inside and outside France, arguably more so than other disciplines. While the scientific community, dominated by US-based scholars and often using the electoral persuasion paradigm, has become increasingly institutionalized at the international level, French scholars have been quite resistant to this international work. Recently, the electoral persuasion paradigm has been embraced to a certain degree and the emerging French research agenda includes experimental approaches, some critical sociology, and, as with all countries, a focus on new media. There has been little evidence of the ‘French touch,’ however, in the international political communication community.
Robert Elgie, Emiliano Grossman, and Amy G. Mazur
This chapter returns to the questions that were introduced in the Handbook’s Introduction. The first section identifies four distinct periods in the study of French politics, revisiting the outside-in/inside-out themes of the Handbook. The second section focuses on the individual chapters in more detail and classifies them in terms of what they tell us about the study of French politics and whether there has been convergence or divergence between the study of French politics in France and comparative work outside France. In the third section, potential explanations for trends across the chapters are explored in terms of three patterns: convergence, asymmetry, and divergence. The chapter concludes by reflecting on the future for a comparative politics of France.
This chapter starts by exploring the ways in which comparative research on women’s movements has challenged dominant conceptions in social movement theory, notably the antagonism between movements and institutions and the conflation of protest and disruption. The chapter then turns to the specific insights of French research on the women’s movement and feminism. First, a series of studies have explored the politicization of gender identity and the the historical interplay between mobilizing as women and doing so for women. Second, there has been considerable examination of the complex ways in which feminist protest has become ingrained in state institutions. Third, several works have focused on the process of diffusion and individual appropriation of feminist ideas outside the women’s movement. A recent line of research has placed the emphasis on the intersecting power relationships that shape the contemporary women’s movement.