Trop de fonctionnaires ? Contribution à une histoire de l'État par ses effectifs (France, 1850-1950)

Abstract : A specter has haunted reforms of the state for the past several decades: the number of civil servants. Under increasing political and media attention in recent years, the number of government employees has long been a blind-spot of research in the social sciences. It is as if two persistent and contradictory assumptions were taken as evident: on the one hand, that France has too many civil servants, and on the other, that the state itself is unable to count its employees. This Ph.D thesis proposes to take seriously the question of the number of state employees by contributing to a history of the French state in terms of its workforce from 1850 to 1950. Through the simultaneous analysis of the calculation of the number of public employees, its use by contemporaries, and the development of public policy, this research serves a twofold purpose. It is, first, to examine the appropriateness of applying the concept of "government by the numbers" to the question of the number of civil servants. This deconstruction of statistical work and its political uses should then allow us to situate quantitative material among the relevant sources that constitute the history of the modern state. In short, we propose a rereading of the process of administrative development through the prism of the number of civil servants.
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Contributor : Émilien Ruiz <>
Submitted on : Thursday, September 19, 2013 - 3:26:28 PM
Last modification on : Thursday, December 6, 2018 - 1:53:18 AM
Long-term archiving on : Friday, December 20, 2013 - 3:15:27 PM

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  • HAL Id : tel-00863780, version 1

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Émilien Ruiz. Trop de fonctionnaires ? Contribution à une histoire de l'État par ses effectifs (France, 1850-1950). Histoire. Ecole des Hautes Etudes en Sciences Sociales (EHESS), 2013. Français. ⟨tel-00863780⟩

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