Get Full Access:
Save 44% Now
Trusted by over 50,000 readers

French Languages and Dialects

March 17, 2017 What does it mean to be French? Inherent in this question is a fundamental tension within French nationalism that is unique to France. One aspect of French nationalism is that it views itself as a universal program. This is best embodied by the Declaration of the Rights of Man and of the Citizen. This nationalism views French ideas about “liberté, égalité, fraternité” as equally important to what it means to be French as speaking French and living on French soil. In this sense, anyone who adopts these principles can be French, and anyone who becomes a French citizen is heir to these principles.

French nationalism was based on the idea that the nation was of paramount importance and was defined by class and a set of ideas about how society ought to be structured. All of the various factions in the French Revolution believed they were unifying the nation, but each faction had to exclude certain groups from the nation in order to define the whole. This has morphed far beyond the original exclusion of the aristocracy and has been used to exclude immigrants to France. The question that the National Front is posing is whether Muslims can truly be assimilated as full members of the French state.

france-language-influence

(click to enlarge)

This tension is at the very heart of France’s political project. Historically, France turns inward in moments of crisis, and after a period of chaos emerges unified and stronger. France is currently at the beginning of an inward turn. The country’s strategic position is weak, its economy is stagnant, and its society is divided. To learn more about how French presidential elections are a useful barometer for understanding France’s domestic position, check out or recent Deep Dive, “Nationalism and Elections in France.”

FREE E-Book:

Geopolitics
101

By Jacob Shapiro
Understanding Geopolitics Starts Here.

Get your FREE copy:




    Please leave this field empty.




Please leave this field empty.

We value your thoughts and opinions. If you have a comment on this article, drop us a note in the window above. Your comments will not be published and will only be shared with our team of analysts.



Related Articles

  • Turkey’s National Savings Rate

    Dec. 15, 2017 Turkey’s savings rate, which has been decreasing steadily since 1990, is among the lowest in the world. Meanwhile, Turkey’s external debt has been rising over the past five years, which could ultimately diminish the government’s control over its economy. Since most of Turkey’s external debt – about 70 percent – is held in the private sector, banks are struggling to attract sufficient deposits to meet the investment demands of President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s economic stimulus. They therefore have had to turn to foreign borrowing to provide those funds.

    Keep reading
  • US Navy Collisions in the Western Pacific

    Dec. 8, 2017 Over the past year, the U.S. Navy has been under scrutiny because of a series of collisions involving Navy warships from the Pacific Fleet. In May, the USS Lake Champlain guided-missile cruiser collided with a fishing boat in the Sea of Japan. A month later, the USS Fitzgerald destroyer collided with a cargo ship off the coast of Japan. Then in August, another destroyer, the USS John S. McCain, was hit by an oil tanker east of the Strait of Malacca. The latter two collisions resulted in the deaths of 17 American sailors. The Navy concluded that human error was the cause of both of those collisions.

    Keep reading
  • What Tax Trends Tell Us About the Russian Economy

    Dec. 1, 2017 Russia boasts both a consolidated budget and a federal budget. The consolidated budget is a combination of the federal budget, which is controlled by Moscow, and Russia’s regional budgets. The federal budget, which is only one part of the consolidated budget, is developed, approved and spent by the central government.

    Keep reading

Geopolitical Futures tells you what matters and what doesn’t.

People say you can’t predict geopolitics.

We have.

Subscribe Now
Learn More About Site Licenses