France gave us the word intellectual; its world-leading thinkers taught us to reason. But in recent years, French thought has been in the doldrums – some say even in crisis. Award-winning historian Sudhir Hazareesingh asks: why the recent malaise?
The horrific Charlie Hebdo shootings in January 2015 exposed deep economic and social fractures in French society, and heightened a growing anxiety about France’s place in a globalised world order.
A nation renowned for its central ideals of citizenship, progress and social justice, and with a history of confident and often brazen optimism, has now been seized by a mood of introspection and doubt.
Award-winning author and academic Sudhir Hazareesingh explores the reasons behind the recent loss of confidence in the creativity of French public thinkers, and asks how might this nation’s once globally influential intellectual heritage be revived?