Conférence de BL sur la nouvelle université libre (en anglais) pour les 150 ans de Sciences Po

Posted: September 25, 2022

To celebrate 150 years of struggle, creativity and accomplishment is a great and necessary moment in the history of any institution. However, it would be a very miserable way to honour the memory of our founders and of their successors if we were to simply bask in their achievements. Allow me now to follow the founders’ path by insisting on what I see as a striking parallel between the situation Boutmy tried to solve by the project of a free university and the situation which we are in today. The trauma of the Franco-Prussian war was indeed terrible, but it is of a small magnitude nonetheless when compared to the traumatic experience of living through the fifty-year war of failed attempts to deal with what I call the new climatic regime. We have been roundly defeated, and defeated again. And this time the defeat is world wide. The sudden inclusion of the Ukraine war adds an insuperable weight to the whole experience of being an adult today in charge of educating the youth. (Available here)