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By Emile Chabal

This publication is an unique and complicated historic interpretation of up to date French political tradition. formerly, there were few makes an attempt to appreciate the political results of the profound geopolitical, highbrow and financial alterations that France has passed through because the Seventies. despite the fact that, Emile Chabal's special examine indicates how passionate debates over citizenship, immigration, colonial reminiscence, the reform of the kingdom and the historiography of recent France have galvanised the French elite and created new areas for dialogue and confrontation. lots of those debates have coalesced round political languages - republicanism and liberalism - either one of which constitution the ancient mind's eye and the symbolic vocabulary of French political actors. the strain among those political languages has develop into the valuable battleground of latest French politics. it truly is round those poles that politicians, intellectuals and contributors of France's sizeable civil society have attempted to barter the ambitious demanding situations of ideological uncertainty and a renewed experience of worldwide lack of confidence.

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Additional resources for A Divided Republic: Nation, State and Citizenship in Contemporary France

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Such a charter would obviate the need for a case-by-case approach and would express clearly the secular principles that underpin French society. It would also strengthen France’s case for speaking on behalf of the Western world: a transparent statement of intent would be a model for other countries looking for a solution to the problem of religious extremism. The most visible manifestation of this desire to legislate laïcité was, of course, the 2004 ban on the wearing of ‘ostentatious religious symbols’ in state schools, and we shall look more closely at this in subsequent chapters.

For Nora, there is a clear vision of a ‘true’ Republic – imperfect, perhaps, but of paramount symbolic importance. 54 But Nora’s innovation was to make the Third Republic the ‘real’ manifestation of republicanism. In so doing, his project made a substantial contribution to a reassessment and rehabilitation of the memory of the Third Republic in late-twentieth-century French historiography. The importance of the Third Republic was further reinforced by the entries in the first volume of Les lieux de mémoire.

They are both graduates of France’s most elite higher education institution, the Ecole normale supérieure (ENS), and their contrasting intellectual journeys shed light on the relationship between French Marxism and neo-republicanism. As before, this is not an exercise in labelling, although both figures openly identified themselves with neo-republicanism. My purpose is to explore the intellectual climate that surrounded them and some of the debates with which they have been preoccupied. Both Debray and Finkielkraut have had varied interests, only one of which has been the redefinition of the nation.

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