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Abstract

Since 2015, France has experienced a particularly high number of terrorist attacks. This paper examines the French state response to such events and analyzes its effect on the relationship between civil liberties and national security. The activation of the state of emergency – as an exceptional measure that suspends warranted searches and certain freedoms – highlights a potential impediment to reconciling France’s national values such as liberté with the urgent need to mitigate terrorist activity. Following the fifth consecutive renewal of this exceptional measure in December 2016, a close scrutiny of its legitimacy, its effectiveness, and its objectives is both timely and warranted. I thus ask the following two questions: In what ways have exceptional crisis measures been historically entrenched in the French socio-political order? In the aftermath of the attacks of November 2015, how does the state of emergency build on these measures and normalize the use of inherently exceptional policies?

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

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