Smith, Paul Books
Dr. Paul Smith teaches in the Department of French and Francophone Studies at the University of Nottingham. He was educated at Bedford Modern School, the School of Slavonic and East European Studies, University of London and St Antony’s College, Oxford. Dr. Smith is the author of Feminism and the Third Republic: Women’s Political and Civil Rights in France 1918-1945 (1996) and A History of the French Senate: The Third Republic 1870-1940 (2005).2006 0-7734-5799-2
The second volume of this work resumes the story of the French upper chamber at the Liberation and traces its resurrection in the unpromising circumstances of 1946 and its gradual recovery as the Council of the Republic of the Fourth Republic 1958. It continues by examining ‘restoration’ of the Senate in 1958 and its rollercoaster relationship with the President, the government and the National Assembly since then. Like volume one, the present volume explores not only the particular composition of the Senate and its role in the French constitutional game, but examines its political evolution and the part played by the men and women who have shaped its fortunes. The text is supported with tables, maps and appendices to provide both the professional academic and the student of French politics not only with an analytical narrative but also with clear points of reference with which to tackle this little-known aspect of French politics.
The tale of the Senate is the untold story of French political and parliamentary history. If it is mentioned at all, it is usually only at the moments when it proved to be an obstacle to 'progressive' reform or a frustration to ambitious governments. Its ways and its traditions, its ever-developing and changing role under three republics and its place at the heart of a particular and peculiar political culture, have remained little known or explored. This two-part study uncovers the French Senate and examines its evolution from keystone of the compromise that created the Republic in 1875 to its consecration as the chambre de la décentralisation in 2003. Volume One examines the place of the Senate in the Third Republic, from its uncertain beginnings to its presence at the forefront of political life in the 1930s, a prominence that would cost the Senate dear after the Liberation. Volume Two traces the unlikely recovery of the upper chamber in 1946, its 'restoration' in 1958 and its rollercoaster relationship with government and the lower house since then. Both volumes explore not only the place of the Senate in the constitutional game, but examine its political evolution and the part played by the men and (after 1946) women who have shaped its fortunes. Both volumes contain tables, maps and appendices intended to provide the both the academic and the student of French politics not only with an analytical narrative but also with clear points of reference with which to tackle the subject.