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Herrick Chapman on France’s Long Reconstruction
April 23 @ 4:00 pm - 5:30 pm
Click here to RSVP: France’s Long Reconstruction: In Search of the Modern Republic
Historian Herrick Chapman explores how the French, in reconstructing their country after World War II, sought to combine a top-down modernization drive with a rejuvenation of democracy. Just what form this new France should take remained the burning question at the central of political combat until the end of the Algerian war. Chapman argues that by the 1960s France’s “long reconstruction” had institutionalized a deep tension between technocratic and democratic governance that would become an enduring feature of the new Fifth Republic. This tension also made the country vulnerable to the kind of street-level rebellion that exploded in May 1968.
Herrick Chapman is Associate Professor of History and French Studies at New York University and author of France’s Long Reconstruction: In Search of the Modern Republic (Harvard University Press, 2018). He is the longtime editor of the interdisciplinary journalFrench Politics, Culture & Society. His other books include State Capitalism and Working-Class Radicalism in the French Aircraft Industry (1991, in French translation 2011) and European Society in Upheaval: Social History Since 1700 (1992). He has also edited several books, including Race in France: Interdisciplinary Perspectives on the Politics of Difference (2004).
The Washington History Seminar is co-chaired by Eric Arnesen (George Washington University) and Philippa Strum (Woodrow Wilson Center) and is sponsored jointly by the National History Center of the American Historical Association and the Wilson Center’s History and Public Policy Program. It meets weekly during the academic year. The seminar thanks the Society for Historians of American Foreign Relations and the George Washington University History Department for their support.