Dr Sudhir Hazareesingh discusses French secularism on the BBC in the aftermath of Charlie Hebdo

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    Photo: Photo by Guillaume Highwire - Flickr (CC BY 2.0)

Sudhir Hazareesingh has appeared on BBC Radio 3's 'Free Thinking' programme on the history of secularism in France in the light of the attack on the office of the Charlie Hebdo magazine.

The full programme can be heard here: http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b051cpx8

Sudhir has also written on the same subject for the BBC History magazine.  He writes, "I was struck that on the night of the attacks people gathered spontaneously at the Place de la République, and then marched in their millions on 11 January. When confronted by a crisis, the French band together to reaffirm what they call the lien social, the social bond. It’s very much part of their democratic, Rousseauian tradition, reclaiming public space in order to illustrate that the Republic is made up not only of individual citizens but of people with shared values.

That said, there were many different sensibilities represented in the march, and it is not easy to ascribe an unequivocal meaning to it."

Dr Sudhir Hazareesingh is CUF Lecturer in Politics and Tutorial Fellow in Politics, Balliol College