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The Vichy Opportunity: François Perroux’s Institutional and Intellectual Entrepreneurship


The chapter analyzes François Perroux’s institutional and intellectual activities under the Vichy regime (1940–1944) mainly by drawing on archival insights from Perroux’s papers. The authors argue that Perroux used his strategic position as general secretary of the Carrel Foundation (created by Marshal Pétain) to reshape French economics along a twofold trend: unifying economics with other social sciences, on the one hand; and developing its most analytical aspects, on the other hand. Thus, Perroux seized the opportunity to push for the introduction and dissemination of foreign theoretical studies within French economics, quite counter-intuitively to the expected nationalistic fallback accompanying authoritarian rule. In the end, the Vichy regime proved a suitable vehicle for the advancement of Perroux’s ideas and career: he managed in fact to make the best of a highly uncertain situation in 1940 and especially in 1944, with the impending Liberation of France. The authors show that Perroux used different strategies to neutralize those aspects of his work associated to Vichy’s ideology.



Brisset, N. and Fèvre, R. (2020), "The Vichy Opportunity: François Perroux’s Institutional and Intellectual Entrepreneurship", Fiorito, L., Scheall, S. and Suprinyak, C.E. (Ed.) Research in the History of Economic Thought and Methodology: Including a Symposium on Economists and Authoritarian Regimes in the 20th Century (Research in the History of Economic Thought and Methodology, Vol. 38B), Emerald Publishing Limited, Leeds, pp. 131-151.



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