New Books Network

How did two right wing presidents use culture to govern France? In Government through Culture and the Contemporary French Right (Palgrave Macmillan, 2014), Jeremy...

How did two right wing presidents use culture to govern France? In Government through Culture and the Contemporary French Right (Palgrave Macmillan, 2014), Jeremy Ahearne, a Professor of French Studies and Cultural Policy Studies at the University of Warwick, explores are range of examples to probe the decade of Right Wing government between 2002 and 2012. Drawing on the implicit/explicit distinction in cultural policy studies, Ahearne considers how core cultural concepts have changed in France, for example the French idea of ‘laicity’ and state secularism, as well as discussing specific cultural examples. These include television and media policy, museum building, eduction policy and the political uses of French history. Overall the book is framed by the continuities and differences between the Chriac and Sarkozy regimes in France, along with the struggle for hegemony over culture and thus over government. The book will be of interest to cultural policy, cultural and media studies and French scholars, as well as those interested in examples of the governmental use of culture.


Dave O’Brien is the host of New Books In Critical Theory and is a Senior Lecturer in Cultural Policy at the Institute for Cultural and Creative Entrepreneurship, Goldsmiths College, University of London. His research covers a range of areas between sociology and political science, including work on the British Civil Service, British Cultural Policy, cultural labour, and urban regeneration. His most recent books are Cultural Policy: Management, Value and Modernity in the Creative Industries and After Urban Regeneration (edited with Dr. Peter Matthews). He tweets @Drdaveobrien.