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French recognition

22 April 2010

Professor John LoughlinProfessor John Loughlin

A leading University European politics expert has been awarded a prestigious honour in recognition of his outstanding contribution to French education and culture and to research on European politics.

Professor John Loughlin, School of European Studies, has been designated an Officier dans l'Ordre des Palmes Académiques by the National Ministry of Education of the Republic of France.

The award, the second highest award of its type, recognises Professor Loughlin’s academic career which has been devoted to the promotion of French language and culture in the UK and to research on European politics.

Professor David Boucher, Head of the School of European Studies, said: "The Ordre des Palmes Académiques is one of the world’s oldest orders of chivalry and is awarded in recognition of outstanding contributions to French academia, culture and education.

"The grade of Officier is of particular significance. The award of Chevalier – the lower of the three grades – is usually given to non-French nationals so, to be appointed an Officier is of even more significance.

"On behalf of the School I congratulate Professor Loughlin on his award."

The Ordre des Palmes Académiques is an Order of Chivalry of France for those working in academia, culture and education. The Order was founded by Emperor Napoléon I to honour eminent members of the University of Paris, and was re-established on 4 October 1955 by President René Coty and remains amongst the world's oldest orders of chivalry.

Originally, the Palmes Académiques was only given to teachers or professors. In 1866, the scope of the award was widened to include major contributions to French national education and culture made by anyone, including non-French nationals.

Professor Loughlin, who is currently on sabbatical at the Princeton Center of Theological Inquiry, is recognised internationally for his expertise in the field of European subnational government.

He has published widely on European governance and published La décentralisation dans les pays de l'Union Européenne as well as Subnational Government: the French Experience. He has edited the Oxford Handbook of Subnational Democracy in Europe which will be published in 2010 by Oxford University Press. He has also acted as an independent expert on regional and local democracy of the Council of Europe, European Union and the United Nations.

In 2009 he was invited by the French Senate to give evidence on local government reform in Europe which informed a major Commission, chaired by former French Prime Minister M. Edouard Balladur, who examined the future of French subnational government.

As well as becoming an Officier dans l'Ordre des Palmes Académiques Professor Loughlin is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts and a Distinguished Academician to the Academy of the Social Sciences. In 2009, the University of Umeå in Sweden awarded him an Honorary Doctorate in Social Sciences in recognition of his research on European politics.

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