Where the State Feared to Tread: Conscription and Local Patriarchalism in Modern France

TitleWhere the State Feared to Tread: Conscription and Local Patriarchalism in Modern France
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2011
AuthorsGeva, Dorit
JournalAnnals of the American Academy of Political & Social Science
Volume636
Issue1
Pagination111-128
Date Published07/2011
Abstract

This article places feminist state theorists in dialogue with the Weberian “bellicist” tradition, and argues that locating patriarchalism within modern European states remains a worthwhile endeavor. By tracing conscription exemptions for fathers and husbands in France from the French Revolution’s levée en masse through to Napoleonic conscription and into the first half of the twentieth century, this article shows that consideration for male citizens’ patriarchal positions was a consistent feature of French conscription. This is significant given that conscription was an especially powerful and invasive institution of modern states and central to states’ survival within interstate competition. Yet even this intrusive institution did not undermine local patriarchalism in the country many consider to be the cradle of modern mandatory conscription. An extractive state institution was built on crystallization of male familial authority at the level of on-the-ground citizens.

URLhttp://ann.sagepub.com/content/636/1/111.short
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