The Comité Régional d'Action Viticole (CRAV): Regional identity, violence and the challenges of modernisation in the Languedoc (1944-1992).
MetadataShow full item record
This thesis analyses the Comité Régional d’Action Viticole (CRAV), an active force in the French wine industry since the mid-1960s that has consistently mobilised militant winegrowers in response to economic crisis. Their role has expanded to represent not only the Midi’s viticultural heritage, but also a peculiar brand of regional nationalism. They invoked the memory of the "Grande révolte" of 1907, which saw hundreds of thousands mobilise against foreign wine imports, financial speculation and ineffective regulation. The legacy of 1907 will be considered in the context of its regionalist significance and the development of political Occitanisme, binding Oc and Vine at the beginning of the century. The prominent role of winegrowing since 1907 had seen a compact between winegrowers, local elites and the Socialist Party develop. Yet, this began to slowly disintegrate as government programmes targeted the amelioration of Languedoc wine from the early 1970s. Whilst this project embittered winegrowers, events like the shootout at Montredon in 1976 and the torching of a Leclerc store in 1984 saw the CRAV breach the frontiers of acceptability and alienate traditional supporters. Demographic change, economic development and the stain of violent protest all chipped away at the CRAV's rebellious appeal. This regional compact will be analysed both to gauge the impact of development upon regional identity and to understand changing conceptions of modernity in the agricultural South. The CRAV's survival is testament to their continuing relevance, despite being painted variously as terrorists, revolutionaries and militant syndicalists. These labels were fleeting, but their identity as winegrowers, Languedociens and their desire to live and work their land for a living wage have remained their defining characteristics. This thesis will analyse the limits of these identities and answer broader questions about the tension between regional development and defence against the backdrop of an increasingly global marketplace.
AuthorsSmith, Andrew William Macrae
- Theses