Paul Bernard

In the Name of the Republic Publication date : November 1, 2000

This book illustrates a personal, original conception of the [French] prefectoral system that may appear to be idealised — and which is probably not shared by members of the prefectoral corps or by the government. It reflects an autobiographical dimension and a chivalrous vision of the Republic. It is possible to lean towards a lofty ideal of the office. I wish to emphasise that I succeeded in putting into practice what I aimed for and which I describe here as an exceptional mission of a higher order. The scrutiny of a career and of a profession naturally led me to an examination of the crisis of our society and the possible means of correcting it. It is the personal expression of a way of being, acting and judging, which I have chosen in an attempt to understand and to continue serving,” writes Paul Bernard.
The author goes on to describe the history of the French prefectoral corps, its mission, its status and its present-day role, and offers a lesson in public service.

Paul Bernard, a legal expert, is a graduate of the Institut d’Études Politiques, in Paris. His lengthy prefectoral career took him to various regions of France, including Aveyron, Sarthe and Corsica, before becoming the prefect of Rhône-Alpes and president of the Association du Corps Préfectoral et des Haut Fonctionnaires du Ministère de l’Intérieur. He is the author of The Republican State in the Service of France and The Prefect of the Republic.