Luchaire, Julien

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Luchaire, Julien

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Born in 1876 in Bordeaux, France, Julien Luchaire was Romanist scholar, politician, and public servant. He was educated at Lycée Henri IV and École normale supérieure, passing the Aggrégation in 1897. He subsequently spent time at the École française de Rome and taught at the University of Lyon from 1900 until 1905. Having published two dissertations on Italian intellectual and political history, he became professor of Italian at the University of Grenoble, a post that he held from 1906 until 1919. In 1907 he founded the Institut français in Florence. After the First World War he served in senior positions at various ministries, and was appointed general inspector of education in 1920.

A friend and collaborator of Henri Bergson’s, Luchaire was involved in intellectual cooperation at the League of Nations (LN) from the outset. Together with Paul Appell, head of the French LN Association, Luchaire launched a project on an international bureau of intellectual relations and education, a report of which was handed to LN secretary-general Eric Drummond in 1920. Luchaire’s project was subsequently picked up by Léon Bérard, the French education minister, who convinced President Aristide Briand of the importance of such an organisation at the LN (Renoliet 1999, 14–23). In 1922 he became an advisor to the International Committee on Intellectual Cooperation (ICIC), and in 1923 a member of the French Committee on Intellectual Cooperation. He was one of the driving forces behind the French offer to establish the International Institute of Intellectual Cooperation (IIIC) in Paris, and in 1926 became its first Director. During his tenure, the IIIC became widely known as the executive branch of the ICIC and launched a number of influential projects, such as the International Studies Conference (ISC). Starting from 1928 Luchaire was increasingly criticised by his colleagues, which lead to significant organisational changes and eventually his own resignation in April 1930 (Renoliet 1999, p. 87, 109). After Luchaire’s resignation, he was succeeded in 1930 by Henri Bonnet. Luchaire himself was given an advisory position at the ICIC’s Permanent Committee of Arts and Letters. He was also appointed an expert for the enquiry into the state of intellectual life and continued to receive his previous salary during 1931.

Following his work for the League of Nations, he taught at l’École des Hautes Études Sociales, where he also chaired the education department and established a course on International Relations. From 1937 until his retirement in 1941, he once again served as general inspector of education. Luchaire died in 1962 in Paris.


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International Institute of Intellectual Co-operation (1925-1946)

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Julien Luchaire was Director of the IIIC.

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International Institute of Intellectual Cooperation. Director (1924-1941/1946)

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Julien Luchaire was Director of the IIIC.

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Created by Jan Stöckmann 10-08-2015.




  • Laurent Broche. «Julien Luchaire, itinéraire d’un Français faussement « moyen » pendant la tourmente.». [actes du colloque] Déplacements, dérangements, bouleversement : Artistes et intellectuels déplacés en zone sud (1940-1944), Bibliothèque de l'Alcazar, Marseille, 3-4 juin 2005 organisé par l'Université de Provence, l'Université de Sheffield, la bibliothèque de l'Alcazar (Marseille). Textes réunis par Pascal Mercier et Claude Pérez. Url : [article consulted on 8 July 2015].
  • Renoliet, J.-J. (1999). L'UNESCO oubliée. La Société des Nations et la coopération intellectuelle (1919-1946). Paris : Publications de la Sorbonne.
  • Report by the Committee on the work of its twelfth plenary session (submitted to the Council and to the Assembly), dated 11 August 1930 [Offical No.: A.21.1930.XII.]

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