Skip to main content
Skip to McMaster Navigation Skip to Site Navigation Skip to main content
McMaster logo
COVID-19 information and updates

Find the most recent updates here, as well as FAQs and information for students, faculty and staff.

February 9th RIPS: Par-delà le volie intégral: an analysis of the French Face-veil ban from a Republican Perspective

In 2011, France banned the wearing of face-veils in the public space. The criminalization of face covering was immediately condemned by prominent NGOs and legal academics of the Anglo-liberal tradition as an unjustifiable infringement on freedom of religion and expression. Here, I show how the ban is not simply consistent with, but necessary under the French republican model. Ultimately, as a friction point between competing rights, the face-veil ban invites us to reconsider the philosophical, political, and historical underpinnings of the human rights ideology and investigate whether their purported universality can accommodate substantive variations in their implementation.

Feb 09, 2016

Stéphane Mechoulan holds a Ph.D. in Economics from Northwestern University, a J.D. from the University of Toronto, an M.A. in Economics from Paris-Jourdan Sciences Économiques and an HEC Paris Master of Science in Management. Dr. Mechoulan taught in the Department of Economics at the University of Toronto before joining the School of Public Administration as an Associate Professor in July 2009, and becoming a member of the Ontario Bar in 2014. His research interests include law and economics, health economics, and policy analysis. It often explores the unintended consequences of policy changes. His work is mostly empirical and has appeared in journals such as the Journal of Human Resources, the Journal of Law and Economics, the Journal of Legal Studies, and the Journal of Labor Economics. His work has been funded by, e.g., the American Statistical Association and the Social Science Human Research Council of Canada. He received the 2008 Mundell Prize from the Canadian Economics Association. He is currently a visiting scholar at Northwestern University Law School.