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Pauline Bock

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Year of Publication: 2019

Bock, Pauline, Why the French are Revolting against Emmanuel Macron's National Service Programme, June 2019, New Statesman, 2019

France, which abolished conscription in 1997, reintroduced a new form of universal national service for 16 year olds in 2018, which extended to women as well as men and included forms of social as well as military service.  Bock's article discusses the national debate at a time when the new form of service was being tested by over 2,000 young  volunteers in a pilot programme. The eventual service will be compulsory, with no exceptions recognized, and penalties envisaged included being banned from taking the academic qualification the baccalaureat or a driving  test.

See also: Williamson, Lucy, 'France's Macron brings back National Service', BBC News, 27 June 2018. 

This report stresses that Macron's original plan had been 'softened and broadened' with less focus on military experience and with an emphasis on fostering social cohesion.