Philippe Marlière

Philippe Marlière is professor of French and European politics at UCL. He is working on a book about the French left and the meaning of republicanism in contemporary France.

JeanJaurès was a deserving child of the French republican meritocracy. An outstanding pupil from the town of Castres, near Toulouse, he came top in the entrance exam for the École Normale Supérieure, where he specialised in philosophy. In 1885, at the age of 25, he was elected as a Republican deputy for his home town. During his first term in the National Assembly,...

Lenin,​ it’s said, danced in the snow once the Bolshevik government had lasted a day longer than the Paris Commune. He was in awe of the Communards, and his tomb is still decorated with red banners from the Commune, brought for his funeral by French communists. Though it lasted only 72 days, the Commune was a defining moment for the European left, though not an uncontroversial one....

Republican King: François Mitterrand

Philippe Marlière, 17 April 2014

AT 8 p.m.​ on 10 May 1981 François Mitterrand made history. On Antenne 2 – a state-run television channel – his face was broadcast to millions of French households. It took three seconds for the image to appear clearly, but it felt like an eternity. First, a bald head (which, at this stage, could have been mistaken for that of the incumbent, Valéry Giscard...

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