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Guillaume Blanc (University of Manchester)

29 November 2023 @ 12:00 - 13:15


  • Past event


29 November 2023
12:00 - 13:15
Event Category:
Academic Events


Abstract. This paper studies nation-building in a fragmented society. We document the adoption of a common language and the construction of a national identity and ideology in France. Using a natural experiment and drawing on a novel dataset on the languages spoken across municipalities on the eve of the twentieth century, we establish that state intervention in the provision of education brought homogenization. To understand why nation-building was successful, we study heterogeneity and find that elites and the demand for education were instrumental in driving homogenization. Additionally, we explore persistent impacts on identity and ideology in the twentieth century, documenting increased participation in the French Resistance and reduced collaboration with the Nazis, alongside an increase in votes supporting political centralization.

Joint with Masahiro Kubo.