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The Nation as Arbiter in Times of Total Crisis: conceptualising the potential for revolutionary change in French politics, 1789 and today

Morris, Andrew Michael (2021) The Nation as Arbiter in Times of Total Crisis: conceptualising the potential for revolutionary change in French politics, 1789 and today. Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) thesis, University of Kent,. (doi:10.22024/UniKent/01.02.93441) (Access to this publication is currently restricted. You may be able to access a copy if URLs are provided) (KAR id:93441)

Language: English

Restricted to Repository staff only until December 2024.

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The PhD is concerned with two periods of French history, the first covers the lead up to the French Revolution and the second approximately the last half century of French politics. Through the analysis of these periods, it develops the concepts of 'Total Crisis' and 'Nation as Arbiter' as a conceptual framework for understanding the potential for revolutionary change during these periods.

Total Crisis refers to a situation in which an accumulation of abnormal occurrences, affecting multiple facets of the political system, compromise its stability to the point where collapse is possible. The construct of Nation as Arbiter relies on a conception of nation which evolves depending on the historical period under analysis. Rather than using a fixed academic definition, this thesis argues that in order to understand its role in politics it is important to view which of its characteristics have been politicised and what political purpose this has served. A clear distinction between the politicised nation at the time of the French Revolution and today emerged from the analysis of both periods.

The key argument is twofold. First, that the political significance of the nation was born within a political conflict over sovereignty and legitimacy within the ancien régime system and therefore the words' association with identity was not yet politicised. Second, that the politicised characteristics of nation today relate to the notions of both sovereignty and identity. By drawing parallels between the lead up to the French Revolution and today, the potential for a similarly revolutionary outcome will also be considered, if not with any finality since the cycle of crisis is not complete.

Item Type: Thesis (Doctor of Philosophy (PhD))
Thesis advisor: Pabst, Adrian
Thesis advisor: Devellennes, Charles
DOI/Identification number: 10.22024/UniKent/01.02.93441
Uncontrolled keywords: Nation ; Nationalism; National Crisis; Sovereignty; Popular Sovereignty; French Revolution; National Front; Far-right Populism; French Politics
Subjects: D History General and Old World > DC France
J Political Science
Divisions: Divisions > Division of Human and Social Sciences > School of Politics and International Relations
SWORD Depositor: System Moodle
Depositing User: System Moodle
Date Deposited: 02 Mar 2022 09:10 UTC
Last Modified: 04 Mar 2022 08:35 UTC
Resource URI: (The current URI for this page, for reference purposes)

University of Kent Author Information

Morris, Andrew Michael.

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