The Invention of the State Léon Duguit, Maurice Hauriou and the Birth of Modern French Public Law Publication date : April 8, 2015
Jean-Michel Blanquer was formerly chief education officer for French Guiana and for the suburban Paris district of Créteil, deputy chief of staff in the French Ministry of Education and director general for schools. At present, he is CEO of the ESSEC group. He is the author of L’Ecole de la vie, published by Editions Odile Jacob.
Marc Milet is a senior lecturer in political science at Panthéon-Assas University, a member of CERSA at the Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique. His research focuses on civic and political commitment and activism in the legal profession.
Shortly before the outbreak of the First World War, the French state underwent a number of profound, interlinked changes. The Republican regime grew in power as it survived crises, scandals and, finally, the war. At the same time, the notion of public service was developing, hand-in-hand with the beginnings of the welfare state, while scientific and technological progress offered new opportunities that the law was called upon to regulate.
A new conceptual approach was needed to provide a framework for such changes. Through the intersecting biographies of two eminent legal figures — Léon Duguit, in Bordeaux, and Maurice Hauriou, in Toulouse — the authors trace the intellectual itineraries of two men who were pivotal thinkers, at a time when their peers had embraced patriotism, confidence in progress, and the challenges of science and intellectual debate. Duguit and Hauriou succeeded in transforming the challenges of their time into legal concepts.
The biography of these two ‘inventors of the State’ enables us to understand how jurists contributed to the transformation of the State and to the evolution of France, in the early 20th century.
• An excellent work for a better understanding of the judicial construction of the French State and its relations to the First World War.
• The biographies of two great French jurists, whose contributions are largely unknown by the general public.
• A thought-provoking book that asks readers to consider the intellectual conditions that lead to political efficacy.