Marc Abélès

An Anthropologist in the French Parliament Publication date : May 1, 2001

Does the French National Assembly have a future? This is the question that Marc Abélès asks here. He describes the members’ feelings of uncertainty and their doubts about their usefulness. Is the National Assembly still the forum of impassioned political debate, or has it become no more than a showcase? What do French members of parliament really do? How are laws passed? Marc Abélès has collected personal accounts and interviews, original anecdotes and portraits, as well as his own direct observations about the ins and outs of the office of political representatives.
This book provides more than a guided tour of the parliamentary world; its goal is to understand how French society, faced with contemporary upheavals, experiences and views its relationship to politics and democracy. After all, says the author, “We are the National Assembly.”

Marc Abélès heads the Laboratory of anthropology of institutions and social organisations at the Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique (CNRS). He is the author of Jours Tranquilles en 89, Ethnologie Politique d’un Département Français, published by Editions Odile Jacob.