Venue: University of London Institute in Paris
This conference will bring together a group of emerging and established scholars from the United Kingdom, France, and the United States to explore the origins, development and legacy of France’s late twentieth-century revival of liberal political and economic thought. During the 1970s French intellectuals and politicians increasingly began to rediscover and reinterpret their country’s nineteenth-century liberal tradition in the light of their contemporary concerns.
The French liberal renaissance was part of a wider transformation of the French intellectual landscape which involved a collapse in the appeal of Marxism, a fundamental rethinking of France’s revolutionary and republican heritage, and an identity crisis among the country’s public intellectuals. Explanations of the liberal revival in the historiography of the early 1990s presented it as the outcome of an ‘anti-totalitarian turn’ provoked by the publication of Aleksandr Solzhenits yn’s L’Archipel du Goulag in 1974. The aim of this conference is to open up new perspectives on France’s liberal renaissance by exploring longer-term origins and consequences, and by encouraging comparative analysis in relation to contemporary liberal revivals in other national contexts.
The conference is funded by Queen Mary University of London, the University of London Institute in Paris, the American University in Paris, and the Society for the Study of French History. For further details, please contact Iain Stewart