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The French Exception

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The French Exception

Edited by Emmanuel Godin and Tony Chafer

274 pages, bibliog., index

ISBN  978-1-57181-684-9 $135.00/£99.00 Hb Published (December 2004)

ISBN  978-1-84545-045-8 $29.95/£23.95 Pb Published (January 2006)

eISBN 978-1-78238-716-9 eBook

Hb Pb View cartYour country: United States - Click here to remove geolocation   Buy the eBook from these vendors Request a Review or Examination Copy (in Digital Format) Recommend to your Library Available in GOBI®


"[A] thorough cut at the notion of French exceptionalism, and it should be useful for French specialists as well as scholars of other areas who wish to study France in comparative perspective." H-France


The notion of French exceptionalism is deeply embedded in the nation's self-image and in a range of political and academic discourses. Recently, the debate about whether France really is "exceptional" has acquired a critical edge. Against the background of introspection about the nature of "national identity," some proclaim "normalisation" and the end of French exceptionalism, while others point out to the continuing evidence that France remains distinctive at a number of levels, from popular culture to public policy. This book explores the notion of French exceptionalism, places it in its European context, examines its history and evaluate its continuing relevance in a range of fields from politics and public policy to popular culture and sport.

Emmanuel Godin is Senior lecturer in French and European Studies at the University of Porstmouth

Tony Chafer is Principal Lecturer in French and African Studies at the University of Portsmouth.

Subject: History (General)
Area: France


List of Abbreviations



Chapter 1. France and Exceptionalism
Nick Hewlett

Chapter 2. Exceptionalism and Universalism: The Uneasy Alliance in the French-speaking World
Margaret A. Majumdar

Chapter 3. The Elusive French Exception
Sue Collard


Chapter 4. French Communism: An Exceptional Orthodoxy
David S. Bell

Chapter 5. Does it Make Sense to Treat the Front National as a ‘French Exception’?
Emmanuel Godin

Chapter 6. The French Administrative Exception: Change and Resistance
Anne Stevens

Chapter 7. French Industrial Relations – Still Exceptional?
Nick Parsons

Chapter 8. The French Socialists, Dirigisme and the Troubled Europeanisation of Employment Policy
Ben Clift

Chapter 9. French Foreign and Defence Policy: Exceptional in Methods and Rhetoric?
Janet Bryant


Chapter 10. Presidential Debates in France: An Example of Americanisation?
Sheila Perry

Chapter 11. The Myth of Exceptionalism? French Television in a West European Context
Raymond Kuhn

Chapter 12. Cultural Exception(s) in French Cinema
Brigitte Rollet

Chapter 13. Sport and Politics: Another French Exception
Patrick Mignon

Chapter 14. French Intellectuals: the Legendary Exception
Michael Kelly

Notes on Contributors

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