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The Republic and the Riots

Exploring Urban Violence in French Suburbs, 2005-2007

Matthew Moran

In 2005, the deaths of two teenagers in Clichy-sous-Bois provoked three weeks of rioting in French banlieues. Cars were burned, buildings were damaged and young people clashed with the police in unprecedented scenes of violence. The government declared a state of emergency as the riots spread across France. Two years later, the French public were met with familiar images when riots broke out in the Parisian suburb of Villiers-le-Bel. What were the underlying causes of these episodes of extreme violence? What did the riots signify? What do they tell us about French society?
This book takes the reader inside the world of the banlieues and explores the nature and causes of the riots. Drawing on qualitative fieldwork conducted in Villiers-le-Bel, the author offers a unique insight into the motivating factors behind the violence. On a larger scale, the book examines the relationship between the underprivileged suburbs and the French republican model. The author explores a triad of interconnections: between republican ideals and the reality of daily life in the banlieues; between national projections of unity and localized realities of disunity; and between figures of authority and ordinary citizens.

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9/11 terrorist attacks 163 impact of 173–175 Agence nationale pour la rénovation urbaine (ANRU) 205 Action Police CFTC 43 Algeria 49, 94, 98, 109 Algerian civil war 127 Algerian immigrants 94, 95, 98, 109 Alliance Police Nationale 42, 43 Alliot-Marie, Michèle 44, 47 Amara, Fadela 44 America, United States of 91, 93 Ancien Régime 68–72, 75, 80–82, 85–86 Anderson, Benedict 261 Artz, Frederick 70 assimilation 48, 57, 78–79, 82, 90, 97, 99, 132, 145, 260 Association Collectif Liberté Egalité Fraternité Ensemble Unis (ACLEFEU) 203 Balibar, Etienne 105 Banlieue 89 (programme) 151 banlieues x–xii, 1–2, 4–5, 6, 9, 14, 16, 21–23, 46, 47, 50, 57, 61, 64–65, 90, 113, 127, 174–176, 178, 185–186, 190, 195, 200, 209–210, 215–216, 219, 220, 238–241, 251, 256, 259–260, 263–265, 268–272 evolution of 90–91, 116–125, 130– 137, 182–184 media representations of 22–23, 34–40, 41–42 police–public relations 141–148, 221–235 policing of, see police see also politique de la ville Barou, Jacques 116 Baubérot, Jean 87 Beaud, Stéphane 45–46, 51–52, 270 Begag, Azouz 13, 60, 95, 125, 272 beur 106–107, 128, 141 Benna, Zyed, see Clichy-sous-Bois Bleich, Erik 94, 104 blogs, see media Body-Gendrot, Sophie 153, 157, 159 Bourdieu, Pierre 26–34, 38, 70, 167–168, 214, 218 journalistic field 27–33 and Passeron, Jean-Claude 167–168 symbolic violence 32 brigade anticriminalité (BAC)...

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