top of page

Mission Statement

The MAUSS International journal aims to bring the work and perspectives of the MAUSS (Mouvement Anti-Utilitariste en Sciences Sociales, or Movement of Anti-Utilitarian Social Sciences) to an international audience. For four decades now, the MAUSS has been at the heart of debates in social sciences in France and in French-speaking countries via its journal, the  Revue du MAUSS and number of book length publications. While this landmass of works has found resonance and relays in Latin countries such as Italy as well as across South America, it still needs better percolate across the language and cultural barrier into English written–and therefore international–scholarship. This is the aim of the new MAUSS International digital journal: to bring MAUSS-branded scholarship to a broader audience and thereby partake more forcefully in  world debates in the human sciences today.

Greeted early on by scholars such as Mary Douglas, Albert O. Hirschman, Marshall Sahlins, and Annette Weiner, the MAUSS was founded in 1981 by Alain Caillé and collaborators to resist the growing encroachment of neo-classical economics and other utilitarian approaches in the social sciences. It was established partly in homage to the work of Marcel Mauss, whose classic yet often misunderstood Essay on the Gift (1925) constitutes an inexhaustible source of inspiration for building a paradigmatic alternative to utilitarian approaches in the social sciences. Yet far from being an isolated exception, Mauss’ work echoes the anti-utilitarian strand central to the most prominent thinkers in classical social sciences, such as de Tocqueville, Marx, Durkheim, Weber, or Simmel. This anti-utilitarian thrust, moreover, is no less vibrant in a range of major currents in contemporary social thought which the MAUSS brings into dialogue with neo-Maussian perspectives, thereby furthering a powerful array of intellectual resources to better face today's manifold challenges while also transcending specialization and resisting misplaced deconstructionism. As the corpus of the MAUSS has made it clear, moreover, an anti-utilitarian social science does not discount self-interest as a motive for social action. Rather, it means resisting the sweeping reduction of social action to self-interest or domination, instead recognizing a plurality of motives and the irreducible complexity of human interactions, thus adopting a resolutely plural and multidimensional approach to social life.

 MAUSS International aims at publishing a mix of original texts by authors from around the world, as well as translations and synthetic presentations of existing works originally published in the French Revue du MAUSS. It promotes originality, dialogue and debate in a variety of formats and will gladly publish debates, interviews, short incisive texts, republished work, classics, excerpts, and even, occasionally, very long texts, as the Revue du MAUSS has done for four decades, thereby becoming one of the most important and enduring interdisciplinary and generalist publications in the French-speaking world. Functioning with the help of an international editorial board, It will also provide the option of double blind peer-review if and when needed or requested.

We invite contributions in the following, non-exclusive areas:

  • Research on the gift stricto sensu in all social domains.

  • Research that develops or complements the MAUSS’ gradual elaboration of a Gift Paradigm.

  • Research that extends anti-utilitarian approaches to a broad range of social facts and issues.

  • Research that contributes to the project of an anti-utilitarian general social science, countervailing the dominant trends of hyper-specialization, while maintaining a critical distance from hyper-deconstructionism and relativism.

  • Research that focuses on or takes into account the intrinsic normative dimensions of any area of social scientific enquiry.

  • Research that shows ramifications, resonances, and complementariness between classical sociology, moral and political philosophy, and anthropology.

  • Research that specifically mobilizes anti-utilitarian approaches to issues of ecology, gender, ethics, social aesthetics, identity, postcolonialism, popular culture, and other areas of emerging and exciting new research.


MAUSS International is published by Le Bord de l'eau and distributed by Cairn International.

For a fuller presentation of the journal's mission statement, also including an introduction the history of the MAUSS and its French journal Revue du MAUSS (as appeared in the journal's first issue) , click here

bottom of page