Contemporary Grammars of Resistance: Two French Social Movements

Leah Bassel

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This article analyzes two social movements in France: the ‘Mouvement des Indigènes de la République’ [Movement of the ‘Indigenous’ of the Republic], and the ‘Réseau Éducation Sans Frontières’ [Education without Borders Network]. It explores the kinds of borders and underlying struggles that these social movements bring to light, and how their actions redraw borders. In these borderlands, actors in the two French resistance movements oppose exclusions and attempt to delegitimize the collective understanding of ‘la République’ that underpins them. This analysis builds on previous research demonstrating that social movements can succeed instrumentally in mobilizing participants when they resonate with and draw on participants’ ‘lifeworld’ (Edwards, 2008; Habermas, 1987). Moreover, I insist on the expressivist quality of these actions as performances of democratic freedom (Beltrán, 2009; Drexler, 2007). Finally, I consider some limitations and the broader lessons for border challenges.

Original languageEnglish
Issue number3
Early online date31 Oct 2013
Publication statusPublished - 2014

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