Sudhir Hazareesingh (Fellow and Tutor in Politics) has written about ‘What it means to be French’ for the Times Literary Supplement online.
In the piece he looks at the constituent elements of the French sense of self, and specifically the role of history, philosophy, and literature in reflecting and shaping French ideas about nationhood. He argues that there has always been an underlying anxiety in the French sense of collective identity, and that it has resurfaced in the postcolonial era as France’s role in the world has become increasingly uncertain. At the same time, there are grounds for optimism as more open and cosmopolitan visions of Frenchness have begun to emerge in recent years.
You can read the article here.