Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Maurice Duverger died at age 97 – Les Echos

Maurice Duverger died at age 97 – Les Echos

Maurice Duverger, a political scientist and expert on constitutional law, has trained generations of lawyers. He founded the first Institute of Political Studies in Bordeaux


His name is known of all political science students in France but also abroad. “The majority vote in a single round tends to party dualism” while “the majority vote in two rounds or proportional representation tend to multiparty politics,” he wrote in his famous treatise on “Political parties”, published for the first once in 1951 and again reissued. These laws have resonated in law amphis constit ‘for decades. Maurice Duverger, political scientist and prominent lawyer, died at the age of 97 years, announced Monday his family in the book of the World


Former professor emeritus at the Sorbonne, former director of studies and research at the Fondation Nationale des Sciences Politiques, the university was the author of thirty books. In addition to higher education textbooks such as “Political Institutions and Constitutional Law” (1966), or “Fifth Republic” (1968), and political essays he published several popular books as “Political Plans” (1965 ) or “The Cohabitation of the French” (1987). It was also MEP (1989-1994), elected on the list of the Italian Communist Party (PCI).

French links with the People’s Party

Politics has always passionate. At 16, Maurice Duverger joins the Popular Republican Union, led by Philippe Henriot, the future minister of propaganda of Vichy. Three years later, he joined the French Popular Party of Jacques Doriot. This is not a fascist movement but a populist, anti-parliamentarian, where anti-Semitic give voice. Maurice Duverger was promoted to secretary of the Southwest Youth Federation Doriotistes, the People’s Union of French youth. “All this, he wrote in a memoir, was idealistic and unrealistic. I was twenty years “(” The Other Side of Things “, 1977).

Twice the attitude of Maurice Duverger in the early years of the occupation will questioned. In 1987, the magazine Actuel had accused of making anti-Semitic comments in a proof of the Journal of Public Law, 1940-1941, on the status of Jews. Maurice Duverger had won a libel suit against the monthly, the court considered that his comment at the time did not imply any endorsement of the law of Vichy. In 2003, the journal History accused of having written under a pseudonym for a collaborationist newspaper Bordeaux.

“A great thinker”

But Maurice Duverger did not stay long in PPF: he left the far-right movement in 1938 to devote himself to his second passion: the right. Associate of Public Law, Professor Maurice Duverger becomes law schools of Poitiers (1942-1943) and Bordeaux (1943-1945). He founded the first Institute of Political Studies (IEP), Bordeaux, he runs between 1948 and 1955. The current director of the IEP of Bordeaux, Vincent Hoffmann-Martinot, hailed “one of the great thinkers political science from the second half of the twentieth century. ” From 1955 he was professor at the University of Paris I, where he headed from 1969 to 1975, the Department of Political Science.

Alongside his academic career, discussion of public life in various newspapers and magazines. It is notably the World columnist from 1946, L’Express collaborator (1954-1965) and the Nouvel Observateur, and editorial writer for Italian and Spanish daily, Corriere della Sera and El Pais.

A supporter of presidential system

From the publication of his first book, “The Constitution of France” (1944 ), Maurice Duverger, was in favor of the presidential system favoring left-right alternating dualism and, if in his opinion, a democracy that is no longer a “democracy without the people.” It is also the origin of the semi-presidential system concept involving mixed schemes borrowing some characteristics of parliamentary systems and presidential systems. Candidate twice at the French Academy (1978 and 1987), Maurice Duverger was Grand Officer of the Legion of Honour and Commander of the National Order of Merit.

Source AFP

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