Jeremy Bentham, the founder of classical utilitarianism, was a seminal figure in the history of modern political thought. This lively mograph presents the numerous French connections of an emblematic British thinker. Perhaps more than any other intellectual of his time, Bentham engaged with contemporary events and people in France, even writing in French in the 1780s. Placing Bentham's thought in the context of the French-language Enlightenment through to the post-Revolutionary era, Emmanuelle de Champs makes the case for a historical study of 'Global Bentham'. Examining previously unpublished sources, she traces the circulation of Bentham's letters, friends, manuscripts, and books in the French-speaking world. This study in transnational intellectual history reveals how utilitarianism, as a doctrine, was both the product of, and a contribution to, French-language political thought at a key time in European history. The debates surrounding utilitarianism in France cast new light on the making of modern Liberalism.
Emmanuelle de Champs is Professor of British History and Civilisation at Universite Cergy-Pontoise (France) and a former student of the Ecole Normale Superieure de Fontenay-Saint Cloud. She is a founding member of the Centre Bentham Ecole de droit de Sciences-Po, Paris, the leading French research centre in utilitarian studies and collaborates with the Bentham Project, University College London, on Bentham's French manuscripts. Emmanuelle has published numerous articles on Bentham and classical utilitarianism and two monographs: Bentham et la France: fortunes et infortunes de L'utilitarisme (2009) and 'La deontologie politique' ou la pensee constitutionnelle de Jeremy Bentham (2008). She is a member of the Committee, Bentham Project, University College London, and a Board Member for the International Society of Utilitarian Studies.