Destroying Democracy

  Volume 38, nr. 1     10 minutes     By Jelle Lammert van Bueren, English

Philippe Pétain’s methods and reasons for undermining democracy: “During World War II, the democratic institutions of the French Republic were actively destroyed.”

In this article, Jelle Lammerts van Bueren explores how and why Philippe Pétain revolted against the democratic institutions of the Third French Republic during the ruling years of the Vichy regime (1940-1944). He does so by analyzing Pétain’s radio speeches as well as the anti-democratic laws that were implemented by his regime. A general destruction of democracy was, however, never achieved in France.

Jelle Lammerts van Bueren is a Research Master student in History at Utrecht University and Université Paris 1 Panthéon-Sorbonne. His research is focused on the postwar democratization processes in Western Europe. In particular, French internal politics of the twentieth and twenty-first centuries.

Header image: Pro-Pétain slogan displayed on the Action Française headquarters in Lyon, 1940. Source: PierreConan via Wikimedia Commons.

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