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Title: Nationalism as existentialism: Charles de Gaulle's worldview reconsidered
Author: O'Dwyer, Graham M.
Awarding Body: University of Kent
Current Institution: University of Kent
Date of Award: 2012
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This work looks at the thought and rationale of Charles de Gaulle and offers an alternative view than that traditionally offered by AngloAmerican political science. De Gaulle has so often been understood as a nineteenth-century nationalist who was only ever concerned with the grandeur of France and is habitually seen as a disruptive element in the Cold War world. The thesis rejects this interpretation and argues that this is a product of explaining de Gaulle from a decidedly Anglo-American perspective that predominantly concentrates on the political aspects of de Gau!le and 'Oaullism' as opposed to the national. By attempting to understand the national element of de Gaulle 's thought we may begin to study him as a thinker, rather than as a pol itician, and in doing so we are able to rethink his worldview. It is from this point of departure that we may see and understand his perception of nations as products of historically imbued culture and the entirely subjective way in which national character develops over long periods of time. The thesis argues that such was de Gaulle's sensitivity to these national characteristics that nations, for him, were individuals and individuals very much in an existential sense. Hence once we change the human individual for the nat;onal individual we may see that de Gaulle speaks the language of existentialism in re lations to nations and nationhood. As such, and in using the lens of existentialism to rationalise de Gaulle, we are able to better understand and appreciate him as a thinker on nations in terms of how they develop and exist, but also how they should relate to one another on the international stage. In doing so we may bener rationalise France's actions during the 1950s and 1960s but also begin to appreciate de Gaulle as an existential thinker on nationhood .
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available