Timo Behr
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Between nostalgia and the colonies
The evolution of French scholarship on the Middle East
in Knowledge production in higher education
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This chapter provides an overview of the historical development and current state of Middle East Studies in French academia. It starts by distinguishing between different French academic traditions when it comes to studying and analysing the Middle East, provides an overview of their historical roots, and traces their changing relevance and evolution over time. In the process, the chapter places a particular emphasis on the interplay of these traditions with France’s evolving overseas interests and her domestic politics and self-perception, noting the significant role that notions of nostalgia and France’s evolving relationship with its former colonies have played in shaping scholarly traditions. The chapter concludes with some observations on the current state of Middle East Studies in France, its wider international relevance, as well as some more general observations on the interplay of scholarship and politics in France’s Fifth Republic.

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Knowledge production in higher education

Between Europe and the Middle East


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