This is the first full academic study of the political thought of the French regionalist movement in the Belle Epoque. Julian Wright has examined the private papers of Jean Charles-Brun, founder of the Fédération Régionaliste Française, in detail. He has rethought the conceptual basis of regionalism through Charles-Brun's intellectual biography, showing that it penetrated the political debates of the period as a commonplace in Republican arguments about state reform. Despite the often made association of regionalism with the right, Dr Wright reveals the diversity of political views expressed, and demonstrates that the connection to left-wing federalism ws emphatically present in the intellectual background.Interwoven with this
discussion is an examination of the personal mission of Charles-Brun. He saw himself as a reconciler, using his regionalism within a mission to heal the divisions of French politics and society. He argued that France's instability stemmed from an obsession with reforms that followed a priori political models, and that politicians who sought to rethink the shape of the Republic needed to attend to the cultural or economic realities expressed in France's regions. Charles-Brun and his regionalist movement continue to have resonance in current debates about decentralization in France.
Readership: Scholars and students of modern French history; historians of political thought; readers interested in
Julian Wright, University of Durham
"impressively researched, dense with argument and information, narrated with evident sympathy, and easy to read'" - English historical studies
"[Charles-Brun's] regionalism and his federalism were part of a vision of France modernised, brought up to date and, as the verbiage went, regenerated." - English Historical Studies
"Wright displays the breadth of [Charles-]Brun's interests and sympathies, and of the sympathies that he himself attracted... Charles-Brun marched on... awaiting the splendid dissertation Wright has dedicated to him... Charles-Brun would have been good company at dinner; and Wright makes his intellectual biography a good read.'" - English Historical Studies
1: The Occultation of Regionalism in French History
2: Characteristics of Belle Epoque Regionalism
II. The Idea of Regionalism: Regionalists and Federalists
3: Charles-Brun and the Felibrige: Mistral or Louis-Xavier de Ricard?
4: Charles-Brun's Sources: Maurras or Proudhon?
III. Regionalism in Action
5: Jeunesse or Sagesse? Charles-Brun and the Rejuvenation of the City
6: The Praxis of Regionalism: Context and Application
7: The Development of the FRF
IV. The Impulse for Reconciliation
8: Art and Catholicism
9: Social and Political Reconciliation