CE41 - Inégalités, discriminations, migrations

The consequences of forced loyalty – CALOT

Submission summary

Inspired by Albert Hirschman’ triptych (exit, voice, loyalty), forced loyalty is what people have to resign to when they are exposed to an authoritarian shift while unable to challenge it or to escape it through exile. It more precisely designates a state of subjection to a coercive power, and helps to understand its transformative dynamics at the individual level. The main aim of the research is to study how a drastic change in the political context can affect the intimate and social life-world of those who suffer from it. Indeed, the introduction of an authoritarian regime is never exempt of social, economic and cultural aftershocks. But these aftershocks are also felt individually and privately while affecting spheres of life, imposing redefinitions of the personal identity and worried expectations of the future. Our project can be assimilated to a sociology of fear, that at the same time shows attention to the conditions and the effects of fear, to the stakes and denotations that provoke it, and to its variations in intensity, sensitive expressions and lasting aftershocks. Four cases will be studied by recognized specialists of the area or period.
Though heterogeneous—in their geographical, historical or “cultural” situations, their ideological orientation, their transition paths, or the social sectors they mobilise—the political turns under study have in common to impose to the people they affect to revise their anticipations and to adopt new ways of acting and new attitudes. Our aim is to focus on the self-reconfiguration work (travail sur soi) people are forced to when they realise that it is impossible to come back to the previous political situation in the short or medium-term. Living a bearable life, conquering new margins of autonomy that can be subtracted to state mastery, controlling the information about oneself, avoiding repression or even surviving… but also trying to remain faithful to oneself in order to be able to maintain an “acceptable definition of oneself”, and even enforcing minimal acts of resistance, all need the adoption of new schemes of action and perception, and the “deactivation” of the former inclinations, habits, ways of thinking, acting or being, that are henceforth not only maladjusted but also dangerous.
The need of such a self-transformation particularly weights on social agents who belong to sectors that are the main stakes of the new regime and that are directly affected by the new political context. The intellectual, artistic, and trade-union fields—whose study will be privileged in the four cases studies—are such social worlds whose members are submitted to the necessity to revise their ordinary practices and to integrate new schemes of action and perception. The enforcement of new aesthetic norms, the censorship of dissident voices, the prohibition of the public expression of collective interests or claims… count among the first consequences of the establishment of an authoritarian regime and reveal the social transformations that result from it. The comparative study of these three fields in each country is intended to identify how their previous structure and social recruitment allow some flexibility and some margins of resistance to their members. As such, the research aims to give an original contribution to the analysis of authoritarianism by studying it in practice, from the perspective of the present or potential threats a coercive regime poses on populations or groups that are hostile to its project and restive to its power.

Project coordination


The author of this summary is the project coordinator, who is responsible for the content of this summary. The ANR declines any responsibility as for its contents.


IFEA IFRE - Institut français d'études anatoliennes - Georges Dumezil

Help of the ANR 311,094 euros
Beginning and duration of the scientific project: November 2019 - 48 Months

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