Fixing France w/ Nabila Ramdani

18 Jan 2024 – 19:30 - 20:30 CET
The American Library (in person and online)
10 Rue du Général Camou

Join Nabila Ramdani as she discusses her new book, Fixing France: How to Repair a Broken Republic.

Liberté, Égalité, Fraternité: la devise de la République française. Since the French Revolution, this motto of liberty, equality, and fraternity has served as a pillar for the republic. Though, after a period of mass dissent– from the Yellow Vests protests, to movement against the 2023 réforme de retraites, to the mass protests following the fatal police shooting of Nahel M.– does France live up to its founding ideals?

Nabila Ramdani, journalist, academic and broadcaster, will appear at the Library to present her new book, Fixing France: How to Repair a Broken Republic.

In Fixing France, Ramdani develops a nuanced critique of some of France’s modern issues, from racial and religious discrimination, looming executive power, terrorism and extremism, and the rise of the far-right. Ramdani will dive into the historical dynamics that have led us to the present: what was the influence of Algeria on the founding and development of the current Fifth Republic? What issues do residents of France face in Paris intramuros, the suburbs of Grand Paris, and beyond in France’s countryside? And how can the French Republic be fixed?

Moderated by journalist and anchor Erin Ogunkeye.

About the book

France—the romanticised, revolutionary land of Liberty, Equality and Fraternity for all—is failing. Reform is urgently needed. This book is a powerful indictment of the status quo, and a highly original perspective on the challenges to which the nation must rise.

Nabila Ramdani is not from the establishment elite: she is a marginalised insider, born and raised in a neglected Paris suburb. With unflinching clarity, she probes the fault lines of her struggling country, exposing the Fifth Republic as an archaic system which emerged from Algeria’s cataclysmic War of Independence.

Today, a monarchical President Macron shows little interest in democracy, while a far-right party founded by Nazi collaborators threatens to replace him. Segregation, institutionalised rioting, economic injustice, the debasement of women, a monolithic education system, deep-seated racial and religious discrimination, paramilitary policing, terrorism and extremism, and a duplicitous foreign policy all fuel the growing crisis.

Yet Ramdani offers real hope: the broken French Republic can, and must, be fixed.

About the speakers

Nabila Ramdani is a French author of Algerian descent who works as a journalist, academic and broadcaster. Nabila began her award-winning journalistic career in the BBC Paris Bureau. She has since broadcast for outlets including Sky News, Al Jazeera and CNN, and has written extensively for The Guardian, The Daily Mail, The Washington Post and others. Educated at Paris VII University and the London School of Economics (LSE), Nabila has taught at the University of Oxford and the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor.

Erin Ogunkeye grew up in the suburbs of Philadelphia, but has spent more time living in Paris than any other city. She studied French law before realizing she wanted to feel a closer connection to the rest of the world by following, relaying and breaking down current events; perhaps not too differently from the way a lawyer connects with a jury. She is an anchor at France 24 and presents Live From Paris in the mornings.


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