Understanding Recent Unrest in France

May 18, 2006

For several weeks in late 2005 France experienced nightly riots. Originally touched off after the accidental electrocution of two young men of North african descent fleeing police, the riots tapped into a deep resentment around racism and lack of opportunity for immigrants and their children within French society. French government's proposed changes in labor law introduced in March of this year, partially an attempt to alleviate high youth unemployment which are perceived to underlie the riots, again provoked massive unrest this time in the form of protest organized by opposition parties, student organizations and labor unions. The event was sponsored by the World Affairs Council and was held at the offices of the World Affairs Council (312 Sutter Street, Suite 200; San Francisco 94108). For the conference program, please click here.