The French Republic: History, Values, Debates

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In this invaluable reference work, the world's foremost authorities on France's political, social, cultural, and intellectual history explore the history and meaning of the French Republic and the challenges it has faced. Founded in 1792, the French Republic has been defined and redefined by a succession of regimes and institutions, a multiplicity of symbols, and a plurality of meanings, ideas, and values. Although constantly in flux, the Republic has nonetheless produced a set of core ideals and practices fundamental to modern France's political culture and democratic life.

Based on the influential Dictionnaire critique de la république, published in France in 2002, The French Republic provides an encyclopedic survey of French republicanism since the Enlightenment. Divided into three sections—"Time and History," "Principles and Values," and "Dilemmas and Debates"—The French Republic begins by examining each of France's five Republics and its two authoritarian interludes, the Second Empire and Vichy. It then offers thematic essays on such topics as Liberty, Equality, and Fraternity; laicity; citizenship; the press; immigration; decolonization; anti-Semitism; gender; the family; cultural policy; and the Muslim headscarf debates. Each essay includes a brief guide to further reading.

This volume features updated translations of some of the most important essays from the French edition, as well as twenty-two newly commissioned English-language essays, for a total of forty entries. Taken together, they provide a state-of-the art appraisal of French republicanism and its role in shaping contemporary France’s public and private life.

Contributors: Anne-Claude Ambroise-Rendu, Université de Paris X; Stéphane Audoin-Rouzeau, École des Hautes Etudes en Sciences Sociales (EHESS); Jean Baubérot, EHESS; Edward Berenson, New York University; John R. Bowen, Washington University in St. Louis; Herrick Chapman, New York University; Alice L. Conklin, The Ohio State University, Vincent Duclert, EHESS; Steven Englund, The American University of Paris; Éric Fassin, École Normale Supérieure, Paris; Stéphane Gerson, New York University; Nancy L. Green, EHESS; Patrice Gueniffey, EHESS; Sudhir Hazareesingh, University of Oxford; Ivan Jablonka, Université du Maine, Le Mans, and Collège de France; Julian Jackson, Queen Mary University of London; Paul Jankowski, Brandeis University; Jeremy Jennings, Queen Mary University of London; Dominique Kalifa, University of Paris 1 Panthéon–Sorbonne; Lloyd Kramer, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill; Cécile Laborde, University College London and Institute for Advanced Study; Herman Lebovics, Stony Brook University; Mary Dewhurst Lewis, Harvard University; Philip Nord, Princeton University; Karen M. Offen, Stanford University; Christophe Prochasson, EHESS; Emmanuelle Saada, Columbia University and EHESS; Martin Schain, New York University; Joan Wallach Scott, Institute for Advanced Study; Jerrold Seigel, New York University; Todd Shepard, The Johns Hopkins University; Daniel J. Sherman, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill; Bonnie G. Smith, Rutgers University; Frédéric Viguier, New York University; Rosemary Wakeman, Fordham University; François Weil, EHESS; Johnson Kent Wright, Arizona State University.

Translations from the French by Arthur Goldhammer.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

"French republicanism is often presented as unitary, centralized, and secular, and the various essays here examine how regional identities, feminism, immigration, and cultural difference have challenged the neo-Jacobin understanding of the 'one and indivisible' nation. . . . The essays arc brief but thorough, and each is accompanied by a list of suggested further readings, making this work an invaluable resource to students of French history. Summing up: Highly recommended."—Choice (February 2012)

"The original [French-language] volume was very much a 'critical dictionary,' with an original scholarly approach, but nonetheless something of the monumentality of many other dictionaries . . . . This volume—far slimmer, with its forty short essays—develops much further the questioning and critical nature of their approach. It is the more indispensable, indeed, for being lighter, brisker, and more plural in its deliberate attempt to solicit a range of often contradictory perspectives. In making this shift, the project has taken on new dynamism by deliberately setting out to offer a trans-Atlantic regard croisé, with Edward Berenson joining the editorial team and a range of American scholars, many of them among the most eminent in their fields, writing reflections as scholars of France (in some cases) or as scholars of Western social, political or intellectual history more generally. . . . The effect of this infusion of intellectual and cultural history by American authors is to underline what I think they had always sought to do: to provide a critical discussion of French republics, republicanism and republican culture."—Julian Wright, H-France Review (January 2012)

"The French Republic is an invaluable resource for historians of modern France. The thirty-eight essays, written by eminent scholars representing three countries and multiple intellectual traditions and generations, are of an uncommonly high quality. Although some are less tightly focused than others, the vast majority are clearly written, well-conceived, and authoritative, blending synthesis with fresh analysis. Because of the volume's unusual structure, the book ranges more widely than most edited collections and provides a great diversity of pieces that are nonetheless in dialogue with one another."—Susan B. Whitney, Canadian Journal of History (Winter 2012)

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780801477843
  • Publisher: Cornell University Press
  • Publication date: 1/25/2012
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Pages: 392
  • Product dimensions: 6.10 (w) x 9.20 (h) x 1.10 (d)

Meet the Author

Edward Berenson is Professor of History and French Studies at New York University. He is the author of The Trial of Madame Caillaux and Heroes of Empire, among other books.

Vincent Duclert, France's leading expert on the Dreyfus Affair, is the author of books including L'Affaire Dreyfus and Dreyfus au Panthéon.

Christophe Prochasson, one of France's top cultural and political historians, is the author of books including Les années électriques, 1880–1910 and Au nom de la patrie.

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Table of Contents

Introduction: Transatlantic Histories of France Edward Berenson Vincent Duclert Arthur Goldhammer 1

Part I Time and History 9

1 The Enlightenment Johnson Kent Wright 11

2 The First Republic Patrice Gueniffey Arthur Goldhammer 19

3 The Second Republic Edward Berenson 27

4 The Republicans of the Second Empire Sudhir Hazareesingh Arthur Goldhammer 35

5 The Third Republic Philip Nord 44

6 War and the Republic Stéphane Audoin-Rouzeau Arthur Goldhammer 56

7 The Republic and Vichy Julian Jackson Arthur Goldhammer 65

8 The Fourth Republic Rosemary Wakeman 73

9 The Fifth Republic Martin Schain 83

Part II Principles and Values 93

10 Liberty Jeremy Jennings 95

11 Equality Jeremy Jennings 103

12 Fraternity Anne-Claude Ambroise-Rendu Arthur Goldhammer 112

13 Democracy Patrice Gueniffey Arthur Goldhammer 119

14 Laicity Jean Baubérot Arthur Goldhammer 127

15 Citizenship Cécile Laborde Arthur Goldhammer 136

16 Universalism Jeremy Jennings 145

17 The Republic and Justice Paul Jankowski 154

18 The State Herrick Chapman 163

19 The Civilizing Mission Alice L. Conklin 173

20 Parité Joan Wallach Scott 182

21 The Press Dominique Kalifa Renée Champion Edward Berenson 189

22 Times of Exile and Immigration Lloyd Kramer 197

23 The USA, Sister Republic François Weil Arthur Goldhammer 207

24 The Local Stéphane Gerson 213

Part III Dilemmas and Debates 221

25 The Republic and the Indigènes Emmanuelle Saada Renée Champion Edward Berenson 223

26 Immigration Mary Dewhurst Lewis 232

27 The Immigration History Museum Nancy L. Green 242

28 Decolonization and the Republic Todd Shepard 252

29 The Suburbs Frédéric Viguier 262

30 The Republic and the Veil John R. Bowen 272

31 Antisemitism, Judeophobia, and the Republic Steven Englund 278

32 Feminism and the Republic Karen Offen 289

33 Gender and the Republic Bonnie G. Smith 299

34 Order and Disorder in the Family Éric Fassin 308

35 Children and the State Ivan Jablonka 315

36 Commemoration Daniel J. Sherman 324

37 Intellectuals and the Republic Jerrold Seigel 334

38 Cultural Policy Herman Lebovics 344

Conclusions 355

American Perspectives on the French Republic Edward Berenson 357

Beyond the "Republican Model" Vincent Duclert Arthur Goldhammer 367

Contributors 373

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