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Cover image for 'States of Ignorance'States of Ignorance: Governing Irregular Migrants in Western Europe (Cambridge University Press, 2023) (co-edited with Christina Boswell)

Much attention has been focused on how states produce knowledge about the people they govern; far less has been written about those aspects of society that states choose to keep obscure. In this book, we explore this understudied dimension of state power by focusing on the way that Western European states have attempted to handle one of the most contested social issues of our day: the governance of irregular migrants.

We develop a theory of 'state ignorance', setting out three complementary ways of understanding such oversights: ignorance as omission, ignorance as strategy, and ignorance as ascription. We then examine how these different forms of ignorance have affected state monitoring and control of irregular migrants from the 1960s to the present day across France, Germany and the United Kingdom. Our findings upend dominant approaches, which tend to assume that states are preoccupied with producing knowledge about their populations. We argue, instead, that states have actually been keen to sustain ignorance about their unauthorised populations.

You can visit the book's website and you can get online access to the e-book via Cambridge Core. The book is also available at Amazon (UK) and most other international booksellers.

Cover image for 'France'France (Polity Press, 2020)

This book is an introduction to French history since 1940, organised around six thematic and chronological chapters. Starting from the idea that France is a "paradoxical" nation, it looks at a number of contradictions within recent French history, including the tension between defeat and resistance, state and citizen, and colonialism and anti-colonialism.

You can hear me talk more about the book on the New Books in French Studies podcast with Roxanne Panchasi and at my online book launch event at the Institute of Historical Research in London. There have also been two review forums on the book on the Tocqueville21 website (with contributions by Art Goldhammer, Emmanuel Jousse, and a response by me) and in the journal Modern and Contemporary France (with contributions by Minayo Nasiali, David Lees, and Evan Spritzer).

You can buy the book directly from the publisher or at Amazon (UK), Amazon (USA) and Amazon (France).

Cover image for 'A Divided Republic'A Divided Republic: nation, state and citizenship in contemporary France (Cambridge University Press, 2015)

Based on an original and sophisticated historical interpretation of contemporary French political culture, this book shows how passionate debates over citizenship, immigration, colonial memory, the reform of the state and the historiography of modern France have galvanised the French elite and created new spaces for discussion and disagreement. Over time, these debates have coalesced around two political languages - republicanism and liberalism - both of which structure the historical imagination and the symbolic vocabulary of French political actors. In the twenty-first century, these two political languages have become the central battleground of contemporary French politics.

An easy way to get a sense of what the book is about is to listen to my New Books in French Studies podcast. Alternatively, you can read a review forum on the book in the Journal of Politics, Religion and Ideology or listen to a podcast of the main book launch event I did at the Institute of Historical Research in London. J'ai discuté de mon livre en français à la Fondation Jean Jaurès.

You can visit the book's website and you can get online access to the e-book via Cambridge Core. The book is also available at Amazon (UK), Amazon (USA) and Amazon (France).

Cover image for 'France since the 1970s'France since the 1970s: history, politics and memory in an age of uncertainty (Bloomsbury Academic, 2014) (edited)

How have the French reimagined the revolutionary, republican and reactionary ideologies that have been so crucial to their history? How has the arrival of hundreds of thousands of postcolonial migrants transformed politics? These are just some of the questions at the heart of this book. With contributions from leading specialists on topics as varied as the legacy of empire and neo-liberalism, it explores how the French have dealt with the pervasive sense of uncertainty that has become a defining feature of contemporary European politics.

Contributors to this volume include: Pascal Perrineau, Jim Shields, Nick Hewlett, Christophe Prochasson, Yann Scioldo-Zürcher, Daniel A. Gordon, Isabel Hollis, Patricia M. E. Lorcin, Michael C. Behrent, Iain Stewart, Camille Robcis, Sophie Guérard de Latour and Sudhir Hazareesingh.

You can visit the website for the book or get online access to the e-book via Bloomsbury Collections. You can also buy the book at Amazon (UK), Amazon (USA) and Amazon (France).

Cover image for 'France and Britain in Two World Wars'Britain and France in Two World Wars: Truth, Myth and Memory (Bloomsbury Academic, 2013) (co-edited with Robert Tombs)

France and Britain, indispensable allies in two world wars, remember and forget their shared history in contrasting ways. This book examines key episodes in the relationship between the two countries, including the outbreak of war in 1914, the battles of the Somme and Verdun, the Fall of France in 1940, Dunkirk, and British involvement in the French Resistance and the 1944 Liberation. The contributors discuss how the two countries tend to forget what they owe to each other, and have a distorted view of history which still colours and prejudices their relationship today, despite government efforts to build a close political and military partnership.

Contributors to this volume include: Gary Sheffield, John Keiger, William Philpott, Elizabeth Greenhalgh, Akhila Yechury, Martin Alexander, Sebastien Albertelli, Olivier Wieviorka, Philip Bell, Jay Winter, Robert Frank and David Reynolds.

This is the link to the publisher's website. You can also buy the book at Amazon (UK), Amazon (USA) and Amazon (France).

Articles and book chapters

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Essays and long-form writing

For short-form writing - including op-eds and blog posts - go to my press and media page.

Click here for more details.British and European flags at a crossroadsIn 2015, I co-wrote an essay with Stephan Malinowski on the idea of exceptionalism in British history and Britain's relation with Europe. This was published in a number of different outlets and languages:

Book reviews

Click here for more details.Between 2002 and 2010, I wrote reviews of contemporary fiction for the Pakistani current affairs magazine Newsline. A small selection of these can be found online here.