Introduction – Amin Allal, Marie Vannetzel, Translated and edited by Cadenza Academic Translations “Disillusioning tommorows ? Toward a sociology of moments of restoration” in Politique africaine Volume 146, Issue 2, April 2017, pages 5 to 28
“Restoration”: we all know “more or less” what it is, either because the meaning of the word seems self-evident (one “restores” what has been damaged) or because it stirs vague memories of history lessons about the French Revolution. If we try to give a succinct definition of it, though, we very quickly see just how labile the word is. Restoration, we sense, isn’t just a matter of the old order returning. Marked “by transaction and recomposition as much as nostalgia,” run through with “powerful symbolic tensions between [competing pasts] on the one hand, and those pasts and the future on the other,” what these processes of restoration have in common is that they are something other than the reestablishment of a status quo ex ante. The restored order is paradoxical because it is both old and new. It is a return to the future.
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