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Professor Julian Swann

BA (History), PhD (History)
Professor of Early Modern History

Contact details

Department of History, Classics and Archaeology
Birkbeck, University of London
Room B08
27 Russell Square
London
WC1B 5DQ

Email: j.swann@bbk.ac.uk
Tel: 020 7631 6265

Profile

  • Julian Swann is Pro-Vice Master for Research and professor of Early Modern History and has taught at Birkbeck since 1989. He is interested in all aspects of French history, but is currently working on a major biography of Louis XV.
  • He has been the editor of the European History Quarterly since 2011.

Research and teaching

  • Research interests
  • Early Modern French history
  • Teaching interests
  • Early Modern European history
  • PhD Supervision
  • Any area of early modern French History

Publications

  • Books
  • Exile imprisonment or death: The politics of disgrace in Bourbon France, 1610-1789 (Oxford University Press, 2017)
  • The crisis of the absolute monarchy: France from old regime to Revolution(edited with Joël Félix, Forthcoming Oxford 2013)
  • Conspiracies and conspiracy theory in early modern Europe. From the Waldensians to the French Revolution (edited with Barry Coward, Ashgate, 2004)
  • Provincial power and absolute monarchy. The Estates General of Burgundy, 1661-1790 (Cambridge, 2003)
  • Politics and the parlement of Paris, 1754-1774 (Cambridge, 1995)
  • Articles and chapters
  • ‘Les parlementaires, les lettres de cachet et la campagne contre l’arbitraire de la justice au XVIIIe siècle’, in O. Chaline ed., Les Parlements et les Lumières (Maison des Sciences de L’Homme d’Aquitaine, 2012), pp. 177-94
  • ‘Parlements and Provincial Estates’ in William Doyle ed., The Oxford Handbook of the Ancien Régime (Oxford, 2012), pp. 93-110
  • ‘Malesherbes et la critique parlementaire du despotisme, de la bureaucratie et de la monarchie administrative, in Eric Brian, Loïc Charles et Christine Théré eds., Le cercle de Vincent de Gournay: Savoirs économiques et pratiques administratives en France au milieu du XVIIIe siècle (Institut Nationale d’Études Démographiques, Paris, 2011), pp. 111-29
  • ‘Un monarque qui veut « régner par les lois » : Le Parlement de Paris et le Roi dans la France de Louis XV’, Parlement[s] Revue d’Histoire Politique 15 (2011), pp.48-62
  • ‘Repenser les parlements au XVIIIe siècle : du concept de l’ « opposition parlementaire » à celui de « culture juridique des conflits politiques »’, in Alain J. Lemaître ed., Le monde parlementaire au XVIIIe siècle. L’invention d’un discours politique (Presses Universitaires de Rennes, 2010), pp.17-38
  • ‘Le roi demande, les états consente’: Royal council, provincial Estates and Parlement in eighteenth-century Burgundy’ in David Hayton and James Kelly eds., Lawmaking in Periphery and Centre: Constitutional Relations in Composite States, 1690-1800 (Palgrave-Macmillan, 2010), pp. 190-210.
  • ‘Coopération, opposition ou autonomie? Le Parlement de Dijon, les états de Bourgogne et Louis XIV, 1689-1715’, in G. Aubert et O. Chaline eds., Les parlements de Louis XIV : opposition, coopération, autonomisation ? (Presses Universitaires de Rennes, 2010), pp. 117-32
  • ‘Power and the provinces: the Estates of Burgundy in the reign of Louis XVI’, in M.-L. LeGay et Roger Baury eds., L’invention de la decentralisation. Noblesse et pouvoirs intermediaries en France et en Europe, XVII-XIXe siècle (Villeneuve d’Ascq : Presses universitaires du Septentrion, 2009), pp. 155-73.
  • ‘Disgrace without dishonour: the political exile of French magistrates in the eighteenth century’, Past and Present (2007), 195: pp. 87-126
  • '‘”Silence, respect obedience”’: Political culture in Louis XV’s France’, In H. Scott and B. Simms eds. Cultures of power in Europe during the long eighteenth-century (Cambridge University Press, 2007), pp. 225-48
  • 'Les États généraux de Bourgogne: Un Gouvernement provincial au siècle des Lumières', Revue d'Histoire Moderne et Contemporaine 53 (2006), pp35-69
  • 'Power and provincial politics in eighteenth-century France: the Varenne affair', French Historical Studies (1998), pp. 441-74
  • 'Le Parlement de Paris et la réforme financière au XVIIIe siècle, 1749-1789', Extrait de l'administration des finances sous l'ancien régime. Comité pour l'histoire économique et financière (1997), pp. 325-46
  • 'Parlements and political crisis in France under Louis XV: The Besançon affair 1757-61', The Historical Journal, no. 4 (1994), pp. 803-28
  • 'Parlement, politics and the parti janséniste: the Grand Conseil affair, 1755-1756', French History, no. 4 (1992), pp. 435-61

Professional membership

  • Fellow of the Royal Historical Society
  • Fellow of the Historical Association

Honours and awards

  • Chevalier dans l'Ordre des Palmes Académiques

Current activities

  • My work has been focused upon the political, administrative and social history of the French monarchy in the period from the accession of Louis XIV until the Revolution of 1789.
  • I have been particularly concerned by the nature of the relationship between French elites and the absolute monarchy, with the aim of understanding how it was possible for a ruling consensus to be established after the Civil Wars of the sixteenth and early seventeenth centuries and what caused that consensus to break down.
  • I am currently writing a biography of Louis XV.
  • I am Editor of the European History Quarterly