Giving a Voice to Foreigners? From the Creation of a Participatory Politics to the Ethnicized Usage of the “Foreigner” Category by Municipalities

By Anouk Flamant

This article considers two councils for foreigners that were established in the cities of Nantes and Strasbourg during the first decade of the twenty-first century. It questions the paradoxical use of the category of “foreigners” by public authorities. First, it enables us to understand how a territorial citizenship is defined through specific consultative bodies. Second, it stresses the inadequate barrier between “national” and “foreigner” in understanding who is concerned by the council for foreigners. In doing so, this article demonstrates how cities are using ethnic criteria in France to define the public of their integration policies and their policies to fight discrimination. Finally, this article aims to understand the use of ethnicity in public policies within a color-blind France.


  • foreigners
  • municipalities
  • political participation
  • ethnicization
  • discriminations
  • integration
  • France
  • Nantes
  • Strasbourg
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