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“On the spirit of laws”. Some reflections concerning the “DNA law” in France

Vol. 3, No. 2, December 2007
Deutsch | français

Chowra Makaremi (Université de Montréal)

France has introduced in its latest law on immigration DNA tests in order to verify filiations in the framework of family regrouping cases. This article provides a critical discussion of this law-making initiative that was for some time in the forefront of the debate on migration. These controversies result from a series of modifications and “passages en force” of a liberal democracy searching for new modes and norms of governance concerning the personal life of individuals. The article also raises the question why French politics of migrations control deals with such a relatively marginal issue like family regrouping. In how far are this approach and the concomitant administrative techniques part of a general reconfiguration of French politics vis-à-vis foreign populations, a modification characterized by a postcolonial construction of the “migrational problem” on the one hand and biopolitics on the other?