Neo-republicanism in contemporary France. Interview with Emile Chabal

Ed Naylor interviewed Emile Chabal on the occasion of the launch of his book, A Divided Republic. In this interview, Emile Chabal discusses the concept of neo-republicanism as a renewed and emerging version of the 19th century republicanism used in the 1980s. He also offers an analysis of postcolonial politics in France as opposed to postcolonialism in the Anglo-American world.

Dr Emile Chabal is a Chancellor’s Fellow in History at the University of Edinburgh. His research focuses on the transformation of French politics since the 1970s, Franco-British relations in the 20th century and the legacy of postcolonialism in France. In addition to French studies, his next research project will be the intellectual biography of Eric Hobsbawm.

Dr Ed Naylor is a Leverhulme Early Career Fellow at the University of Portsmouth. His research engages with history of immigration on France, with a special focus on Marseille.


Roundtable with Emile Chabal on French contemporary political culture

ROUNDTABLE EVENT around Emile Chabal’s book ‘A Divided Republic: Nation, State and Citizenship in Contemporary France’

Tuesday 6 October 2015, 5.15-6.45pm, Denis Schiama Building, room 2.14

As part of the CEISR seminar series, the Francophone Africa cluster will host an event around Dr Emile Chabal’s newly published book on contemporary French political culture.


Dr Emile Chabal (Chancellor’s Fellow in History, University of Edinburgh)

Prof David Hanley, Dr Natalya Vince and Emmanuel Godin (University of Portsmouth)


Link to the presentation of ‘A Divided Republic: Nation, State and Citizenship in Contemporary France’.


‘This is an outstanding and groundbreaking book. It provides a powerful and persuasive account of the transformation of the modern French intellectual landscape, and the emergence of new patterns of republican and liberal thought. The analysis is rich, nuanced, and sophisticated, and Chabal provides us with the essential keys to understanding contemporary French political debates.’ Sudhir Hazareesingh, University of Oxford

‘Emile Chabal demonstrates with great perspicacity how, since the end of the 1970s, a newly revived French republicanism came to prominence amidst the ruins of the grand ideologies of the ‘Trente Glorieuses’. His analysis is compelling and he successfully steers clear of the tired confrontation between (neo-)liberal apologists and those nostalgic for a lost France of revolutionary passion.’ Christophe Prochasson, École des Hautes Études en Sciences Sociales

‘After Marxism, what next? A Divided Republic is an outstanding integrative study that brightly illuminates both the republican and liberal turns of French political culture since the 1970s, with an impressive combination of political and intellectual history. As a guide to the territory, Emile Chabal is as insightful as he is informed, and has achieved the best available treatment of a complex set of developments.’ Samuel Moyn, Harvard University

‘Chabal’s survey of contemporary French political culture is patient and heroically comprehensive … Students of French political thought will … remain in [his] debt for this careful and thorough work of reconstruction and analysis.’ Arthur Goldhammer, The American Prospect