Extended interview EN & FR: Jean-François Bayart


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After a moving and emo­tio­nal res­ponse to the ter­ro­rist attacks in Paris on 13 Novem­ber, time has come for reflec­tion. The recent poli­ti­cal vio­lence in France and elsew­here raises big ques­tions and asks for no other than big ans­wers. To address these fun­da­men­tal chal­lenges, we met with Jean-François Bayart, a renow­ned Afri­ca­nist who wrote exten­si­vely on the lin­kages bet­ween reli­gion and poli­tics. Connec­ting a wealth of topics such as French and Euro­pean foreign policy, the debate on “mode­rate Islam”, the neo­li­be­ra­li­sa­tion of our socie­ties, but also the issue of migra­tion and secu­rity policy, Pro­fes­sor Bayart pro­poses an in-depth rea­ding of the situa­tion. Unders­tan­ding any of these chal­lenges, he argues, neces­sa­rily starts with his­to­ri­cally roo­ting them in the long term.

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