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Jürgen Habermas: The Paris Attack And Its Aftermath

on Fri, 11/27/2015 - 12:38
President Hollande spoke of the need for constitutional changes to amend the processes of the state of emergency (which go back as far as the Algerian war). It’s a question of defining a “state of war” suited to a situation that is neither a “state of siege” (in order to overcome a rebellion) nor Article 16 of the Constitution handing full powers to the President of the Republic – employed once by General de Gaulle at the time of the ‘generals’ putsch’ in April 1961. What’s your take on this discussion? More generally, do you think an amendment to the Constitution is a proper response to the attacks of November 13? Basically, it seems to me to be sensible to adapt the two relevant paragraphs on emergency in the French Constitution to today’s situation. The fact that this is now on the agenda is clearly a consequence of the fact that the President called a state of emergency after the shocking events and wants to extend it for three months. I cannot judge the reasons why this policy is necessary; I’m no security expert. But, seen from afar, it looks like a symbolic act on the part of the government to react to the mood of the country – and probably in an appropriate manner. In Germany this warlike rhetoric of the French President – driven by domestic politics – is met with significant reservations ...

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