Le Débat

Le Débat is a bi-monthly French periodical founded in 1980 by Pierre Nora[1] and Marcel Gauchet. It has been characterised as the "single most influential intellectual periodical" of late-twentieth-century France.[2]

The first issue of Le Débat appeared on the day of the funeral of Jean-Paul Sartre. As editor, Pierre Nora announced that the review would exemplify a new, post-partisan, role for French intellectuals: free from commitment to revolutionary politics, they would concentrate on the exercise of 'reflective judgement'.[3] According to Nora, Le Débat sold between 8,000 and 15,000 copies per issue in the 1980s.[4] Past editors include Raymond Aron, Georges Dumézil, François Jacob, Michel Foucault, Emmanuel Le Roy Ladurie, François Furet and Jacques Le Goff.[1]


  1. "Revue Le Débat". Gallimard (in French). Retrieved 29 October 2016.
  2. Mark Lilla, 'New Liberal Thought', The Columbia History Of Twentieth-Century French Thought, 2005, pp. 67-9.
  3. P. Nora. 'Que peuvent les intellectuels?', Le Débat, 1, 1980, pp. 1-19.
  4. Michael Scott Christofferson, French Intellectuals Against the Left: The Antitotalitarian Moment of the 1970s, 2004, 275n8
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