Riots and the French Disease
Arun Kapil replies
Claire—my recent newsletter about controlling riots began with my exchange with my friend Arun Kapil, a Franco-American political scientist. Arun has written a wonderful essay on the topic that includes (but isn’t limited to) a response to me. He’s kindly given me permission to publish the edited version, below. (I’ve added footnotes to ensure it’s accessible to Anglophones.) You can read the original at Arun with a View, which you should read regularly.
By Arun Kapil
Each paroxysm of collective violence in the banlieues or ghettoized quarters of French cities has its specificities, but almost all follow the same well-worn script, with rioting by young males—most under age 18—of post-colonial, immigrant origin sparked by a confrontation with the police—and the conflagration set off by an action of the police. The police are invariably the instigators of the riots.
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