• Contested Territory: Regional Development in France, 1934-1968

    Matthew Wendeln (see profile)
    Decolonization, Economic history, Industrial sociology, France, History, Modern, France--Paris, Area studies, City planning, Cities and towns--Study and teaching
    Item Type:
    New York University
    decentralization, Industrial history, Jean-François Gravier, Modern France, Paris, Regional studies, Urbanism/urban planning
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    This thesis shows how government intervention shaped the remapping of industry and population in postwar France. Combining a national perspective with local case studies, it analyzes the regional development programs organized around the new conceptual framework of aménagement du territoire. I address a core tension: industrial decentralization was a Keynesian social policy, which brought new jobs to impoverished areas, but it also undercut the power of Parisian labor and created a kaleidoscope of new regional inequalities. Three chapters trace the complex relationship between projects of urban "containment," rural preservation, and new ideals of Keynesian modernization from 1934 to 1955. I examine the decentralization of defense industries, programs to deindustrialize Paris, and battles to control provincial labor markets during new development. The following two chapters address, respectively, the institutional and discursive bases of redistributive regional policies and the role of decolonization in shaping debates on inequalities in France. Next, I take the Citroën car factory built in Rennes, Brittany, as a case study of new rural industrialization from Rennes' pro-growth municipal politics to the company's recruitment of peasant workers and the community's contestation of its new employer. A concluding chapter covers key shifts in French industry during the 1960s: Parisian contraction, branch-plant expansion, and new high-tech metropolises. This dissertation is at the junction of social science research-on industrial geography and territorial governance-and the history of French industry and labor, urban policy, and state economic intervention.
    A version with original French quotes and citations is available in the French humanities archives website https://hal.archives-ouvertes.fr/
    Last Updated:
    3 years ago
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