Berthezène Clarisse

Posted on July 28, 2019


Research themes

  • Conservatism and the British Conservative Party
  • Women’s movements, gender and politics
  • Volunteering and the voluntary sector
  • History of health inequality from the 1870s to the present

Current Project

  • I am a visiting scholar at the Center for European Studies (CES) at Harvard University from September 2023 to June 2024. My research project aims to offer a gendered social history of health inequality in Europe from the 1870s to the present, based on two case studies in Manchester and Lille. It stems from the European COST project (COST Action 18119) entitled “Who cares in Europe?” that I chair and which brings together scholars from more than 35 European countries for four years (May 2019-September 2023). The aim is to develop an emerging field of research that explores the relationships among voluntary associations, families and states in the creation of social welfare in Europe. It focuses on the question of how state welfare emerged from the social welfare provided by non-profit, non-state institutions and individuals.
  • This research programme was the result of a two-year project (2016-2018) led by Laura Lee Downs and funded by the European University Institute examining “European Trajectories in the Quest for Welfare and Democracy: Voluntary Associations, Families and the State, 1870s – 1990s.” The network brought together some 35 scholars from across Europe who seek to question our understanding of European social welfare both historically and socially, by examining the numerous ways in which families, churches, trade unions, municipalities and other private or semi-public associations have interacted with each other and with the state in the identification of social problems and the creation of solutions.
  • I also work on the political mobilisation of Conservative women in the period from 1918 to 1990 and the links between gender, politics and voluntary action. I co-edited with Julie Gottlieb a volume entitled Rethinking right-wing women. Gender and the Conservative Party, 1880s to the present (Manchester University Press, 2017). One of our aims is to publish a volume on the history of right-wing women and social action from a European perspective. I’m also interested in the role Conservative women played in the creation of the European Union of Women in 1953 and the links between the British Conservative Party and the Christian Democratic Parties on the continent.

Research Supervision

I welcome applications from students interested in researching the following areas of twentieth-century British history:

  • popular politics
  • the history of Conservatism and the Conservative Party
  • women’s movements, gender and sexuality
  • volunteering and the voluntary sector
  • History of health inequality


Doctoral students :

  • Mathias Kulpinski
    Masculinities and class identities in the United Kingdom, 1900-1939, an autobiographical inquiry.
    Supervised by: Clarisse Berthezène (Université de Paris) and Ben Griffin (Cambridge)
  • Joanne Raineau
    Dissertation topic : The Women’s Refuge Movement in the United Kingdom, 1971-2000
    Supervised  by: Clarisse Berthezène (Université de Paris) et Natalie Thomlinson (University of Reading)
  • Caroline Tran Van
    Dissertation topic : The History of Medical Education in the UK from 1945 onwards.
  • Véronique Ward
    Dissertation topic : La nébuleuse associative de protection de la nature et des animaux et ses réseaux en Grande-Bretagne, 1870–1950.


Education and Academic Positions

  • 2023-2024: Visiting scholar at the Center for European Studies (CES) at Harvard University
  • 2018 to the present: Professor, Université Paris-Diderot (then UPCité)
  • 2017-2018: Research, Higher Education and Innovation Attachée at the French Embassy in London
  • 2004-2017: Lecturer, Université Paris-Diderot
  • 2017, Habilitation à diriger des recherches, Université de Bourgogne : “Vers une histoire transnationale des conservatismes. Mobilisations politiques et transformations de la société civile, 1883 à nos jours”
  • 2003 : Ph.D., University Paris III-Sorbonne Nouvelle : “Les conservateurs britanniques dans la bataille des idées. Le Ashridge Bonar Law Memorial College : des ‘conservateurs fabiens’ à la conquête des esprits, 1929-1954”
  • 1997 : “DEA” in History at Sciences Po, Paris
  • 1996 : “Agrégation” in English
  • 1995 : MA in International History at the London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE)
  • Former student at the École Normale Supérieure of Fontenay-St Cloud (1993-1998)

Administrative Responsibilities

  • 2019-2023: Vice President Université Paris Cité and Acting President from April to June 2023
  • 2019-: Deputy Chair LARCA UMR 8225
  • Member of the Scientific Committee of French Society for political history
  • 2019-:  Member of the Franco-British Council
  • Member of the scientific committees of the following journals:
  • 2017-2019: Head of the Political History Group of the LARCA, UMR 8225
  • 2011-2019: Member of the Board of the LARCA, UMR 8225
  • 2014-2019: Elected member of the Scientific Board of the Department of Anglophone Studies
  • 2011-2017: Elected member of the CNU (Conseil national des universités)
  • 2011- 2013 : Member of the conseil scientifique de l’Institut des Humanités de Paris (IHP)