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Emanuele Podda

Languages and Literature, University of Warwick

Thesis title:

Emile Giraud and the development of French internationalist and constitutional thought (1922-1960)

My research focuses on the hitherto neglected figure of the French jurist and political scientist Louis Emile Giraud (1894-1965). A prominent public and international law scholar, Giraud participated directly to the work of the League of Nations and the United Nations (UN), as juridical advisor from 1927 to the mid-1950s, most notably contributing to the drafting of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights as deputy and secretary to John Humphrey, director of the UN Human Rights division. At the same time, influenced by a profound Christian faith, he was active since an early age in Marc Sangnier’s Christian-Democrat organisation ‘La Jeune République‘, together with most future Christian-Democrat political leaders, starting with Maurice Schumann. Later, during the Fourth Republic interlude, he acted as informal foreign-policy counsellor to successive Christian-Democratic governments, courtesy of his personal links with Georges Bidault, semi-permanent occupier at the Quai d’Orsay. This broad public engagement put him at the crossroads of national and international political and intellectual exchanges. Indeed, I contend that Giraud’s venture helps shed light on the crucial contributions that France made to the establishment of contemporary international organisations and practices – usually overshadowed by Anglo-Saxon influences – and how, in turn, the French idea of the state was itself influenced by these same developments. Finally, I maintain that this led him to elaborate gradually an original reflection on IR, stimulated by a political approach to the question of law. 

Research Area

  • Languages and Literature

Other Research Interests

French Modern History

Intellectual History

Inter-war Europe

Military History

Transnational History

International Relations


Society for the Study of French History

Society for the History of War


BA in History and International Relations (First Class Honours), Università degli Studi Roma Tre (2014-2017)

MA in History of War (Distinction), King's College London (2017-2018)