agency (politics/sociology)


Senior Member
US English
Hi language lovers,

In political or sociological writing, how might one translate "agency" into French ? I am referring to the individual capacity for action or self-determination. Has anyone ever seen the word "agency" used in Italics in a French text?

Many thanks!
  • aliband

    Il n'y a pas de traduction stricte de ce mot. I believe there is no equivalent in French.

    Maybe "capacité d'action et de prise de décision".


    New Member
    Québec - Français :)
    I have never seen the word agency used that way but rather empowerment wich is still a pain to translate. So far, the best (disons plutôt le moins pire) is «autonomisation»

    The empowerment of employees
    L'autonomisation des employés

    Not great...:(


    Senior Member
    US English
    The responses already provided are very useful. I guess I would like to speak of... création (?) ou revendication d'une capacité d'action pour les gens "disempowered":)


    New Member
    French/Français - France
    I'm a discourse analyst, working with sociology texts too, and I think you can translate it by "agentivité" in these very domains (This is specialized vocabulary).
    Actually, I came here to check if this translation was ok, but I am pretty sure it is :)
    Hope this is not too late and it can still be useful to someone!


    English UK/Italian
    Hello, In Québec I have heard this debated too, and although I am coming in WAY too late to contribute, let me record that "autodétermination" has been used there (in anthropological contexts). But rather clunky, this term.