Revue française de science politique 63-1, février 2013

Revue française de science politique 63-1, février 2013

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Revue française de science politique 63-1, février 2013

Nicolas Delalande et Alexis Spire
CAPPING TAXES. NARRATIVES, SYMBOLS, AND FIGURES IN THE EXPERIENCE OF THE FRENCH TAX SHIELD (2005-2011)

For some years, political science has been struggling with a democratic puzzle: how is it that upward-redistributive policies, which grant significant tax cuts to rich people, seem to be supported by a majority of the voters? Is it due to misinformation, political obfuscation, or a shift in the moral attitudes towards taxation and redistribution? Through an analysis of the French "bouclier fiscal" (tax shield), which was created in 2005 and abolished in 2011, we stress the major role played by symbols, narratives and figures in the evolving representations of tax unfairness. First conceived as a tool bound to protect all the taxpayers from abusive taxation, this measure became increasingly perceived as client-politics, especially after 2009-2010. We argue that symbols, when used in politics, may help frame public issues, but also lead to political weakness when reality appears to be too distorted from narratives.

Jean-Noël Jouzel et François Dedieu
MAKE VISIBLE AND LEAVE IN THE SHADE. KNOWLEDGE AND IGNORANCE IN FRENCH HEALTH POLICIES RELATED TO WORK

By focusing on the general ignorance concerning occupational diseases related to exposure to pesticides among farmworkers, the authors seek to understand how public policy tools used to produce knowledge may paradoxically result in the obscuring of social problems. In order to do so, they rely on recent sociological studies on the dynamics of the organized ignorance. They complete this approach by stressing the underlying moral and political implications of this state of affairs. As such, the authors demonstrate two factors contributing to the social invisibility of diseases brought about by the use of pesticides among farmworkers: the institutionalized underrecognition of chronic illnesses caused by certain forms of exposure to low doses of these toxic substances; and the under-reporting by workers of the acute effects of high dose pesticide poisoning.

Florent Pouponneau
AN INTERNATIONAL DIVISION OF DIPLOMATIC LABOUR. AN ANALYSIS OF FRENCH FOREIGN POLICY TOWARD THE IRANIAN NUCLEAR ISSUE

This article examines the French foreign policy toward the Iranian nuclear program between 2002 and 2006. For French leaders, this action is an opportunity to demonstrate their ability to play a substantial role in the regulation of international affairs. However, our demonstration, paying attention to the evolution of transatlantic relations, underlines that agents learn, in a practical way, the boundaries of their field of actions. The hypothesis of a functional differentiation in the international political system can explain this gap between actors' intentions and their actual outcomes. It also provides us a way to empirically grasp the structural effects of the international system.

François Bafoil
REGIONAL IDENTITIES. ASEAN AND EU ENLARGEMENTS IN A COMPARATIVE PERSPECTIVE

The enlargements in the 1990's and the 2000's of both ASEAN and EU have led to considerable changes of these regional organisations. In both cases, the new member states were considered to be “backward states” and “weak states”. However, far from being marginalized, new member states were paradoxically able to reinforce their sovereignty. In this context, this article argues that new member states were able to limit the hegemony exerted by old member states, by insisting on shared regional values and identities. Thereby, they transformed their initial “weakness” into “strength”.




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