Career Paths into Legal Academia in France
Rabel Journal of Comparative and International Private Law (RabelsZ), Vol. 84, No. 2, pp. 299-323, April 2020
27 Pages Posted: 27 Apr 2020 Last revised: 25 Feb 2021
It is likely that a description of the way university careers unfold in France, at least as far as law is concerned, will surprise even seasoned observers of the academic world. Not everything, naturally, will appear outlandish: that the single most important precondition is having a PhD thesis is perhaps to be expected for a civilian jurisdiction; that the overall system is centralised will not astonish those that have come into even superficial contact with the country. But the extent of that centralisation, the sheer number of unwritten rules, the relative lack of importance attributed to publications and the specificities of the agrégation, the competitive exam which serves as the main point of entry into the body of law professors, as well as the acceleration it is designed to provide to young academics’ careers, may surprise some readers.
The paper will be structured in three parts, which will deal with obtaining a permanent position (I.), subsequent career advancement (II.) and provide a critical assessment of the overall system (III.).
Note: This article is published in the Max Planck Private Law Research Paper Series with the permission of the rights owner, Mohr Siebeck. All full-text Rabel Journal articles are available via pay-per-view or subscription at Mohr Siebeck.
Keywords: Legal academia, career paths, cacademic career, professorship, maîtrise de conférences, Law, France, publications, PhD thesis, teaching, agrégation, Conseil national des universités, CNU, qualification, centralisation, localism
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