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Le Service Militaire Adapté, dispositif à géométrie variable de la gestion de la jeunesse ultramarine à La Réunion et en Polynésie française

Collection : Documents de travail

271, 2022, 24 pages

This Document de Travail seeks to analyse the unique and multi-scalar organisation of the Service Militaire Adapté (Adapted Military Service) and the deployment of its different regiments in the French overseas territories, with a focus on the cases of French Polynesia and Reunion Island. The Service Militaire Adpaté (SMA) is a youth employment policy managed by the French ministry of Overseas Territories and the Army. It targets 18–25-year-old people living in the French overseas territories who are excluded from the labour market and have no qualifications. This Document de travail offers an analysis of two aspects of this understudied sociological object: the hybridity of its organisation and its links to government, European institutions, and local anchorage. It examines the global social strategies through which the SMA legitimises French military presence in the overseas territories via both population support in cases of natural disaster and the healthcare and literacy and numeracy support it provides to its beneficiaries. This Document de Travail also aims to situate the SMA in the broader socio-political and  demographic context of concentrated migrations in the French overseas territories. Finally, it explores the link between overseas populations’ representation and the emergence of militarised educational institutions and asks to what extent the French overseas territories can be considered “laboratories” for experimenting with unconventional and hybrid policies like the SMA.

Manon Mora