Hélène Carrère d'Encausse

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Hélène Carrère d'Encausse
Hélène Carrère d’Encausse par Claude Truong-Ngoc sept 2013.jpg
Carrère d’Encausse in 2013
Hélène Zourabichvili

(1929-07-06) July 6, 1929 (age 93)
Known forMember of the Académie française
Louis Carrère
(m. 1952)
ParentGeorges Zourabichvili (fr)
Academic background
Alma mater
Doctoral advisorMaxime Rodinson, Roger Portal (fr)
Academic work
Notable worksDecline of an Empire: The Soviet Socialist Republics in Revolt (fr),
Russia Between Two Worlds (fr)

Hélène Carrère d'Encausse (born Hélène Zourabichvili; 6 July 1929) is a French political historian of Georgian origin, specializing in Russian history. Since 1999, she has served as the Perpetual Secretary of the Académie française, to which she was first elected in 1990.

Carrère d'Encausse was a member of the European Parliament between 1994 and 1999, representing the centre-right Rassemblement pour la République.[1] She was awarded the Lomonosov Gold Medal and Grand Cross with Star of the Order of Merit of the Republic of Poland in 2008 and 2011, respectively. She is a cousin of Salome Zourabichvili, the current President of Georgia.

Family and career[edit]

Carrère d'Encausse was born Hélène Zourabichvili in Paris into a family of Georgian émigrés. She is a cousin of Salome Zourabichvili, the current President of Georgia. Her son, Emmanuel Carrère (born 1957), is a French author, screenwriter and director. Carrère d'Encausse graduated from Institut d'Études Politiques de Paris and was elected to seat 14 of the Académie française in 1990, later becoming the Académie's Perpetual Secretary in 1999. Her academician's sword was made by a Franco-Georgian sculptor Goudji.

Russian scholarship[edit]

Carrère d'Encausse with Vladimir Putin in October 2000

The bulk of Carrère d'Encausse's work has been on Russia and the Soviet Union. She has had over two dozen books published in French, many of which have been translated into English. Her 1978 work L'empire éclaté: La révolte des nations en U.R.S.S (English version, Decline of an Empire: The Soviet Socialist Republics in Revolt) predicted that the Soviet Union was destined to break up along the lines of its 15 constituent republics. In commenting on current Russian affairs, Carrère d'Encausse has warned against applying Western yardsticks to Russian democracy and has said that she regrets the "excessive diabolization" of the regime of Vladimir Putin.[2]


In 2005, Carrère d'Encausse joined other French politicians in identifying polygamy as one of the causes of the 2005 civil unrest in France. During an interview given to the Russian television channel NTV, she claimed:

Why can't their parents buy an apartment? It's clear why. Many of these Africans, I tell you, are polygamous. In an apartment, there are three or four wives and 25 children.[3]

These and similar remarks by others, including Nicolas Sarkozy and Bernard Accoyer, were disputed by the antiracist group MRAP, which blamed the unrest on French racism.[3]



  1. ^ "La préparation des élections européennes Mme Carrère d'Encausse représentera le RPR derrière M. Baudis". Le Monde.fr (in French). 28 April 1994. Retrieved 2 July 2018.
  2. ^ de Villers, Vincent Tremolet (16 March 2018). "Il ne faut pas juger le pouvoir autoritaire de Poutine à l'aune de nos seuls critères" (in French). Le Figaro. Retrieved 27 October 2018.
  3. ^ a b Sciolino, Elaine (18 November 2005). "Immigrant Polygamy Is a Factor in French Unrest, a Gaullist Says". The New York Times. Retrieved 8 May 2020.
  4. ^ Sovereign Ordonnance n° 14.274 du 18 Novembre 1999 portant promotions. Legimonaco.mc (in French). Retrieved 8 May 2020.


  • 1963 Réforme et révolution chez les musulmans de l'Empire russe (Armand Colin)
  • 1966 Le Marxisme et l'Asie (avec Stuart R. Schram), 1853-1964 (Armand Colin)
  • 1967 Central Asia, a century of Russian rule, Columbia Univ., réédition 1990 (Duke Univ. publication)
  • 1969 L'URSS et la Chine devant la révolution des sociétés pré-industrielles (avec Stuart R. Schram) (Armand Colin)
  • 1972 L'Union soviétique de Lénine à Staline (Éd. Richelieu)
  • 1975 La Politique soviétique au Moyen-Orient, 1955-1975 (Presses de la F.N.S.P.)
  • 1978 L'Empire éclaté (Flammarion)
  • 1979 Lénine, la Révolution et le Pouvoir (Flammarion)
  • 1979 Staline, l'ordre par la terreur (Flammarion)
  • 1980 Le Pouvoir confisqué (Flammarion)
  • 1982 Le Grand Frère (Flammarion)
  • 1985 La déstalinisation commence (Complexe)
  • 1986 Ni paix ni guerre (Flammarion)
  • 1987 Le Grand Défi (Flammarion)
  • 1988 Le Malheur russe (Fayard)
  • 1990 La Gloire des Nations (Fayard)
  • 1992 Victorieuse Russie (Fayard)
  • 1993 L'URSS, de la Révolution à la mort de Staline (Le Seuil)
  • 1996 Nicolas II, La transition interrompue (Fayard)
  • 1998 Lénine (Fayard)
  • 2000 La Russie inachevée (Fayard)
  • 2002 Catherine II (Fayard)
  • 2003 L'Impératrice et l'abbé : un duel littéraire inédit (Fayard)
  • 2005 L'Empire d'Eurasie (Fayard)

External links[edit]