In this volume, a distinguished collection of historians and political scientists reflect on France's evolution as a political community from the nineteenth century to the present. France is often seen as a 'Jacobin' polity, committed to the principles of national unity and state centralization, a robust conception of patriotism, the promotion of a uniform and homogenous culture on its society, and the defence of the general interest against sectional concerns. The overall aims of the book are threefold: firstly to map out the key features of this 'Jacobin' model as it emerged in nineteenth century France; secondly to explore the institutional, political, and social realities which lay behind its rhetoric, and often subverted its grand objectives; and thirdly to offer an overview of the transformation of this French Jacobinism, as it has sought to adapt itself to such significant changes as the impact of successive wars, the establishment of republican government, the emergence of the welfare state, the drive towards European integration, and development of regionalism and multiculturalism.
Among the principal themes of the book are: the place of war in shaping republican political culture, the role of elites, the administrative structure of the French state, the definition of the principles of good citizenship, and the question of territoriality. French specialists from Britain, Europe, and United States come together to offer an original and timely evaluation of the 'French model' of state building, associational activity, and civic integration. Shedding new light on the specificities of modern French political culture, this collection of essays will appeal to historians and political scientists interested in the transformation of French public institutions and society, as well as comparativists seeking a deeper understanding of the French political system. This volume is a tribute to the scholarship of the late Vincent Wright, former Official Fellow, Nuffield College, Univeristy of Oxford.
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(242mm x 162mm x 19mm)
Oxford University Press
Publisher: Oxford University Press
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