Two-tier Pluralism in 'Colour-blind' France

Vincent Tiberj*, Laure Michon

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to JournalArticleAcademicpeer-review


France lags behind most other Western countries in its degree of ethnic representation, despite the longstanding presence of non-Western minorities in the country. French politicians and the public usually justify this situation by arguing that there are no such things as ethnic minorities in France, and therefore no particular 'ethnic minority' interests. Consequently, there is no need to be concerned about ethnic representation; class representation is enough. More recently, attention has centred on the presence of Islam. This frame biases political attention to religious issues related to ethnic minorities, leaving aside major problems such as racial discrimination. In contrast, this article argues that France is very similar to America when it comes to ethnic politics, particularly when analysing the political orientations of non-Western minorities. Without a proper voice to articulate their claims, ethnic minorities see their interests neglected in favour of other issues.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)580-596
Number of pages17
JournalWest European Politics
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 1 May 2013
Externally publishedYes


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