Charles Gide

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Charles Gide
Gide, Charles.jpg
Born 29 June 1847
Died February 1932
Nationality French
Field Theory of social economy
History of economic thought
School or
Historical school of economics

Charles Gide (French: [ʒid]; 1847–1932) was a leading French economist and historian of economic thought. He was a professor at the University of Bordeaux, at Montpellier, at Université de Paris and finally at Collège de France. His nephew was the writer André Gide.

Academic work[edit]

A founder of the Revue d'économie politique in 1887, Gide was a proponent of the French historical approach to economics.[1]

Gide was one of the few supporters of Léon Walras, as they shared a social philosophy, social activism, and disdain for the "Manchester-style" economics of the journalistes.[1] Gide later resisted the influence of Keynesian economics in France.[1]

Social activism[edit]

In the early 1880s Gide worked with Édouard de Boyve, founder of the Abeille Nîmoise cooperative in 1884, and with the former manufacturer Auguste Marie Fabre. These three men founded the French cooperative movement that came to be called the École de Nîmes. The Sociétés Coopératives de Consommation de France held its first national congress in Paris on 27 July 1885.[2] The journal l'Émancipation was launched at this meeting, and first appeared on 15 November 1886 in Nîmes. Gide, de Boyve and Fabre all contributed to the journal.[2]

As a Protestant Christian Socialist, Gide was at the center of progressive politics in France, supporting the université populaire movement in the aftermath of the Dreyfus Affair. He promoted the establishment of a School for Advanced Social Studies (École supérieure de sciences sociales) (1899). In addition, he served among the early faculty of the École supérieure de journalisme de Paris.[3] Together with the School for Social Studies, it was established in 1899 as one of three grandes écoles developing from the Collège libre de science sociales founded in 1895.

Gide supported the Union pour la Verite (League for Truth) created by philosopher Paul Desjardins in 1892 in support of the French officer Alfred Dreyfus during the political scandal, which aroused heated passions across the nation. Gide was interested in reform projects as well, such as the Alliance d'Hygiène Sociale (Social Hygiene League, created in 1905), and reported on the social economy exhibition at the Paris World's Fair in 1900.[4]

Gide was a tireless champion of the cooperative movement: both agricultural and consumers' cooperatives during the first third of the 20th century. His book, Consumers' Co-operative Societies, which first appeared in French in 1904, and in English in 1921, is a classic in the field of co-operative economics, in the tradition of Co-operative Federalism.[4]


See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c "History of Economic Thought", The French Liberal School Website. Note: The French Liberal School had lost interest in serious economic theory by the 1830s.
  2. ^ a b Sanders, Huub (2002-08-01). "Les Sky Scratchers: Background". International Institute of Social History. Retrieved 2015-03-19. 
  3. ^ "Histoire", Ecole Supérieure de Journalisme de Paris website, accessed 4 July 2011
  4. ^ a b Pierre-Yves Saunier, "Review of Marc Penin, 'Charles Gide 1847–1932. L’esprit critique'", History Net (H-Net)

Further reading[edit]

  • Marc Penin. Charles Gide 1847–1932. L’esprit critique. Paris: l'Harmattan (1998). ISBN 2-7384-6072-0

External links[edit]