Responding to Terrorism in Paris

Brian Sandberg: Historical Perspectives

The director and fellows of the Institut d’Études Avancées de Paris—where I am currently serving as a Résident (Residential Fellow) during the 2014-2015 academic year—held a meeting in the aftermath of the attack on Charlie Hebdo to discuss ways in which we might organize some sort of academic response to the violence.

We had a useful discussion of the complex issues surrounding the terrorist attacks and brainstormed about which themes we could effectively discuss based on our research specializations. We will assemble again soon to determine what sort of roundtable or workshop might be most effective and to determine what sort of audience is most appropriate.

Across France, by far the most popular slogan among people responding to the terrorist attacks has been “Je suis Charlie.” The slogan had already become dominant in French political culture by the evening of the attack on Charlie Hebdo’s offices, when thousands of Parisians…

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