Chantal Delsol

Chantal Delsol (a.k.a.:Chantal Millon-Delsol), born 16 April 1947 in Paris, is a French philosopher, political historian and novelist. Founder of the Hannah Arendt research institute founded in 1993. She is openly catholic, and a disciple of Julien Freund and Pierre Boutang, describes herself as a "liberal-conservative".

Chantal Delsol main political ideas are liberalism, federalism, as well as the principle of subsidiarity based on the idea of singularity.


Chantal Delsol was born to a right wing catholic Parisian family she is the daughter of biologist Michel Delsol.[1][2] Delsol studied under liberal-conservative Julien Freund, disciple of Max Weber, under whom she wrote her doctoral thesis in 1982.

Docteur ès lettres (i.e. doctor of literature), she is currently a professor at université de Marne-la-Vallée, where she directs the centre for European studies, known as the Hannah Arendt Institute, which she founded in 1993.

Political and philosophical thought

A eulogy of federalism and of Europe

Chantal Delsol is a fervent partisan of federalism, an ideal she has claimed draws its roots from Catholicism and from the baroque culture of Germanic countries. She believes it to be an innovative system, bearer of hope. Therefore, she is against the idea of the Nation-State of Bodin, which she believes stalls geopolitical actions. In contrast with a federation, which is an indeterminate contract, layered with a great degree of flexibility, which allows a more fluid and open State. Federations are based on the common goal of peace and prosperity.

She considers the current European Union to not be a true federation. Due to its lack of political unity in the EU, the only unity is an administrative unity, which Delsol has described as technocratic. For example, Europe lacks a common policy in terms of defence and foreign affairs.[3]

Principle of subsidiarity

For Delsol, subsidiarity is a principle of organisation of society: allowing for the separation of powers to different authorities. An authority responsible for a group is required to guaranty the existence of the object of the group. The authority is only required to help the group overcome its weaknesses, no more no less.


In her book titled La nature du populisme ou les figures de l’idiot !, Chantal Delsol examines the stakes of contemporary populism, i.e.the current ressurgence of interest in the concept as well as the need to reevaluate our place in the contemporary world. To Delsol populism appear to be the greatest danger to democracy, on the other hand, it reveals the flaws of western democracies owing to their ideas of universalism.


  1. Paoli, Paul-François (6 March 2008). "La gauchiste de la famille". Le Figaro. Le Figaro. Une histoire de famille. « Mon père, Michel Delsol, était biologiste à Lyon, et quand j'étais enfant, il nous emmenait dans son laboratoire, où il disséquait les têtards. » Peu attirée par les petites bêtes, elle apprend la patience et cette passion pour la vérification qui distingue les chercheurs des idéologues. Une forte personnalité, ce Michel Delsol. Un « réac » à l'ancienne, catholique traditionaliste et maurrassien à la fois. Chantal Delsol, qui nous reçoit chez elle, boulevard Saint-Michel, parle de lui avec tendresse et un zeste d'humour. Son père aurait bien voulu qu'elle fût une jeune fille rangée. Mais Chantal, à 20 ans, récuse les valeurs autoritaires de cette lignée qui va de Platon à Maurras en passant par Carl Schmitt, où l'on regarde l'humanité de haut, parfois avec mépris.
  2. "Enquête sur "la droite" (2). Chez les Millon, l'esprit de belle-famille. C'est le clan de madame qui a les idées et monsieur qui les expose. - Libération". Retrieved 2016-04-03.
  3. Mouvement Européen - France, « Fondements philosophiques d'une fédération européenne », hebdomadaire, no 8 (d’octobre 1998), lire en ligne
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