illustration : Books


The Books heading gathers critical reviews of selected social-sciences books.

Rawls reloaded. De la justice à la justice spatiale.

Lévy, Jacques, Fauchille, Jean-Nicolas, Póvoas, Ana. 2018. Théorie de la justice spatiale. Géographies du juste et de l’injuste. Paris : Odile Jacob.

Mélanie Le Guen | 15.12.2018

This review of the book Théorie de la justice spatiale. Géographies du juste et de l’injuste attempts to identify some of the workings of the writing exercise that such a volume stands for. This six-hands work uses interviews conducted in France, Switzerland and Portugal to show that individuals are able to reflect space-justice interactions and express their own conceptions of justice, based on their experiences as inhabitants. It seriously deals with contemporary concerns, yet it does not resort to [...]

Du bon et mauvais usage des modèles de la science économique.

Rodrik, Dani. 2017. Peut-on faire confiance aux économistes ? Réussites et échecs de la science économique. Traduit de l'anglais par Jérôme Duquène. Louvain-la-Neuve : De Boeck Supérieur, coll. « Pop Economics ».

Michel Carrard | 07.12.2018

The subprime crisis of 2007/2008 rekindled controversies over the nature of economics. If some saw, in the multiplication of criticisms addressed to this discipline, the beginning of a healthy questioning of the mainstream model, others, on the contrary, defended it as a guarantee of its scientificity. It is in this context that Dani Rodrik's book will be published, in 2015. The author's comment is both a plea in favour of economics and at the same time a strong criticism [...]

Se vouloir seul.

Explorer les aspirations à la solitude avec Philip Slater.

Sylvain Bordiec | 18.10.2018

This article sheds light on the contribution of Philip Slater’s book – entitled The Pursuit of Loneliness. American Culture at the Breaking Point – in understanding the disconnections from social life. The author argues that in America, in the sixties, the quest for solitude organised the life of the suburban white middle-class. According to the author, this quest is a historical, spatial, cultural and social declination of the solitudes that can be generated by the process of individuation, a [...]

Les pauvres aussi peuvent-ils profiter de la mondialisation ?

Choplin, Armelle et Olivier Pliez. 2018. La mondialisation des pauvres. Loin de Wall Street et de Davos. Paris : Seuil, coll. « La République des idées ».

Christian Bouquet | 30.08.2018

The work of Armelle Choplin and Olivier Pliez addresses globalisation under an original survey method, leading to an unconventional conclusion. The authors follow the flow of commodities, from Africa to China, and prove that certain actors of these exchanges can get out of poverty by entering, even at the margins, the international trade. [...]

Un homme sur la terre : le cas de Franz Schubert (1797-1828).

Lazzarotti, Olivier. 2017. Une place sur Terre ? Franz Schubert, de l'homme mort à l'habitant libre. Paris : H Diffusion.

Gabriel Dupuy | 21.06.2018

In this book Olivier Lazzarotti continues his reflection on man's geographical condition. The author sets the scene with the musician Franz Schubert. He describes the meanings of a new mobility that makes man free. [...]

Une spiritualité du donné naturel ?

Bourg, Dominique. 2018. Une nouvelle Terre. Paris : Éditions Desclée de Brouwer.

Augustin Berque | 20.06.2018

Dominique Bourg’s A New Earth shows that the modern ideal of mastering nature is ending in its contrary, a total loss of mastership. The reviewer agrees on the whole, but criticises Bourg’s conception of “natural given”, which implies determinism, whereas the relation at stake cannot be but contingent. [...]

La colonisation par le sabre et le stéthoscope.

Lachenal, Guillaume. 2017. Le médecin qui voulut être roi. Sur les traces d’une utopie coloniale. Paris : Seuil.

Christian Bouquet | 26.04.2018

In the 1930s, first in Wallis and then in Cameroon, the French colonial authorities experimented with a mode of administration guided by military doctors. The results are seen as contrasting, depending on the historians’ standpoint. Lachenal doesn’t see it as a « colonization benefit », but he collected several testimonies offering a more nuanced view. [...]

Sciences sociales et littérature : Quelle(s) écriture(s) ?

Desbois, Henri et Philippe Gervais-Lambony. 2017. « Les lieux que nous avons connus… ». Deux essais sur la géographie, l’humain et la littérature. Paris : Presses Universitaires de Paris Nanterre.

Olivier Lazzarotti | 08.03.2018

Following a theoretical approach leading to inscribe their point of view in the current of thought of "humanist geography", then following its application to a few cases, Antoine de Saint-Exupéry in particular, the authors propose to reflect on a quest for the "human" in geography. [...]

Le monde à l’épreuve de la pollution.

Jarrige, François et Thomas Le Roux. 2017. La Contamination du monde. Une histoire des pollutions à l'âge industriel. Paris : Seuil, coll. « L’Univers historique ».

Igor Moullier | 08.02.2018

The dilemmas posed by industrial production and its pollution are not new. Jarrige and Le Roux show how, as early as in the 18th century, industrial societies perceived the problems related to pollution and how science and the state contributed to deal with their effects. [...]

La subjectivation au cœur des mouvements sociaux contemporains.

Pleyers, Geoffrey et Brieg Capitaine (dirs.). 2016. Mouvements sociaux. Quand le sujet devient acteur. Paris : Maison des Sciences de l'Homme.

Gérard Martial Amougou | 26.01.2018

Subjectivization would be at the heart of contemporary social movements. Based on a critical and analytical reading of the book edited by Geoffrey Pleyers and Brieg Capitaine, this review revisits the theoretical issue of subjectivization in the apprehension of collective movements, while highlighting some of the challenges that emerge from its articulation with "global thinking". [...]