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Author:Barbara Karatsioli (Nanterre)
Paper short abstract:
The national service is back in France in a new form, the National Universal Service (SNU) for adolescents. To institute this form of national service, the government is asking associations to support the project alongside the military, causing a fracture that this paper studies ethnographically.
Paper long abstract:
The national service is currently back in France in a new form, the National Universal Service (SNU) for adolescents. Initially conceived by Macron as a mandatory and universal military service, "military" service has since become "national" universal service, a mandatory and universal project involving a one-week commitment by an entire age group, 16-year olds, who have no right to conscientious objection, followed by a period of voluntary service before the age of 25. Run by the military but funded by the Ministry of Education and Youth, at a time when credit accruing to education and employment has dropped significantly, the project aims to reinforce national cohesion and promote young people's engagement to further the general interests and security of society, and by so doing, to compensate for a lack of social, political, and geographical intermingling. To institute this new form of national service, the government is asking associations to support the project alongside the military. But this request has caused a fracture, with some acquiescing and others protesting. This paper looks at the fracture ethnographically, by studying on the one hand, those associations collaborating with the military to institute the project, and on the other, the alliances opposing it, including human rights organizations, anti-war associations, conscientious objectors, even the scouts. It asks what kind of in/security this new project forges, when bringing the nation and the army together, putting the military and the police in charge of forming future generations?
Securitized Education: critical perceptions on the entanglements between military, security and education [Anthropology of Security Network, Peace and Conflict Studies in Anthropology PACSA]