Politicization: From the term to the conceptual maze

By Yves Déloye, Florence Haegel

Based on the evidence that the notion of politicization is being more frequently deployed in the French political science and that this success generates significant conceptual elasticity, this paper aims to clarify these uses and to comprehensively map how the social sciences deal with the term “politicization.” Firstly, I address the controversial issue of the politicization of French rural peoples and areas, often discussed in political history. Then, it draws attention to the various uses of the notion in political science, bringing out the major controversies that structure debates about individual politicization or the politicization of social issues and activities. The authors make a combinatorial proposal in order to identify and define the ways in which the term is used.

  • cleavages
  • politicization
  • depoliticization
  • political mobilization
  • historical sociology
  • political competence
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