Laboratoire de Recherches sur les Cultures Anglophones, UMR 8225


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Clarisse Berthezène

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Title: Professor of Modern British History


Research Themes:

  • Conservatism and the British Conservative Party
  • Women’s movements, gender and politics
  • Volunteering and the voluntary sector
  • Religion and politics

Current Project:

I am currently the Principal Investigator (Chair), with Laura Downs, of a European COST project (COST Action 18119) entitled “Who cares in Europe?”], which brings together scholars from more than 25 European countries for four years (May 2019-May 2023). The aim is to develop an emerging field of research that explores the relationships among voluntary associations, families and states in the creation of social welfare in Europe. It focuses on the question of how state welfare emerged from the social welfare provided by non-profit, non-state institutions and individuals.

Cost Action 18119 - Who Cares in Europe?

This research programme stems from a two-year project (2016-2018) funded by the European University Institute examining "European Trajectories in the Quest for Welfare and Democracy: Voluntary Associations, Families and the State, 1870s – 1990s." The network brought together some 35 scholars from across Europe who seek to question our understanding of European social welfare both historically and socially, by examining the numerous ways in which families, churches, trade unions, municipalities and other private or semi-public associations have interacted with each other and with the state in the identification of social problems and the creation of solutions.

I am also working on the political mobilisation of Conservative women in the period from 1918 to 1990 and the links between gender, politics and voluntary action. I co-edited with Julie Gottlieb a volume entitled Rethinking right-wing women. Gender and the Conservative Party, 1880s to the present (Manchester University Press, 2017). One of our aims is to publish a volume on the history of right-wing women and social action from a European perspective. I’m also interested in the role Conservative women played in the creation of the European Union of Women in 1953 and the links between the British Conservative Party and the Christian Democratic Parties on the continent.

I am involved, with Jean-Christian Vinel, in a project on populism and its roots at the heart of liberal democracies. This project is a sequel to our book on Postwar Conservatism, a transnational investigation. Britain, France and the United States 1930-1990, Palgrave Macmillan, 2017.

Education and Academic Positions:

  • Former student at the École Normale Supérieure of Fontenay-St Cloud (1993-1998)
  • 1995 : MA in International History at the London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE)
  • 1996 : “Agrégation” in English
  • 1997 : "DEA" in History at Sciences Po, Paris
  • 2003 : Ph.D., University Paris III-Sorbonne Nouvelle : “Les conservateurs britanniques dans la bataille des idées. Le Ashridge Bonar Law Memorial College : des ‘conservateurs fabiens’ à la conquête des esprits, 1929-1954”
  • 2017, Habilitation à diriger des recherches, Université de Bourgogne : “Vers une histoire transnationale des conservatismes. Mobilisations politiques et transformations de la société civile, 1883 à nos jours”
  • 2004-2017: Lecturer, Université Paris-Diderot
  • 2017-2018: Research, Higher Education and Innovation Attachée at the French Embassy in London
  • 2018 to the present: Professor, Université Paris-Diderot

Administrative Responsibilities:

  • 2019-: Deputy Chair LARCA UMR 8225
  • 2017-2019: Head of the Political History Group of the LARCA, UMR 8225
  • 2011-present: Member of the Board of the LARCA, UMR 8225
  • 2014-present: Elected member of the Scientific Board of the Department of Anglophone Studies
  • 2011-2014: Elected member of the CNU (Conseil national des universités)

Research Supervision:

I welcome applications from students interested in researching the following areas of twentieth-century British history:

  • popular politics
  • the history of Conservatism and the Conservative Party
  • women’s movements, gender and sexuality
  • volunteering and the voluntary sector

Selected Publications:

2017, Rethinking right-wing women. Gender and the Conservative Party, 1880s to the present, Manchester University Press (co-edited with Julie Gottlieb).

2017, Postwar Conservatism, A Transnational Investigation. Britain, France and the United States, 1930-1990, Palgrave Macmillan (co-edited with Jean-Christian Vinel).

2016, Conservatismes en mouvement, une approche transnationale au XXe siècle, Editions de l’EHESS (co-edited with Jean-Christian Vinel).

2015, Training minds for the war of ideas: Ashridge College, the Conservative Party and the cultural politics of Britain, 1929–54, Manchester University Press. Format Paperback, 2019.
Winner of the 2016 PSA Group Prize for the best publication on conservatism

2011, Les conservateurs britanniques dans la bataille des idées, 1929-1954. Ashridge College, premier think tank conservateur, Paris, Presses de Sciences Po.

Publications and Papers in the open archive HAL

Media :

Les conservateurs britanniques dans la contradiction, France Inter, La Marche de l’Histoire, Jean Lebrun, 28 mai 2019.
Listen to the podcast

La Grande-Bretagne, l’Europe et les autres (3/4) - Le choix du Monde ?, France Culture, La fabrique de l’Histoire, Emmanuel Laurentin, 27 mars 2019
Listen to the podcast

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