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Michael Behrent Appointed by Governor as Chair of the Watauga County Board of Elections

The Watauga County Board of Elections on Thursday welcomed Michael Behrent who was appointed by Governor Roy Cooper to be Chair of the Watauga County Board of Elections. Mr. Behrent is replacing Jane Ann Hodges who resigned due to health concerns.

“We welcome our new Chair and appreciate his service to Watauga County voters during this unusual time. We also want to thank Jane Ann Hodges for her years of dedicated service to the citizens of Watauga County as Director and as Board Chair. She will be missed, “ said Matthew Snyder, director of the Watauga County Board of Elections.

Behrent is an Associate Professor in the Department of History at Appalachian State University with areas of study in Europe, European Intellectual History and Modern France.

According to his faculty bio, he received his Ph.D. at New York University, where he defended a dissertation titled “Society Incarnate: Association, Society, and Religion in French Political Thought, 1825-1912.” It examines the ways in which nineteenth-century republican and socialist thinkers drew upon religious discourse to speculate about how a post-corporate and post-revolutionary society might foster robust social bonds.

In his bio, Behrent also wrote:

“Debates about religion, I argue, become an important terrain for assessing the respective weight a modern political order should assign to the claims of ‘individualism’ as opposed to those of ‘society.’

In addition to nineteenth-century political philosophy, I am also interested in recent French political thought. In particular, I am working on a project that examines the role played by Michel Foucault played in ushering in the “liberal turn” in French thought during the 1970s.

Finally, I also write about American politics and political thought for several French publications, including La Vie des Idées, an online journal. I write a blog in French on American politics (hosted by the French magazine Alternatives Internationales) and another blog in English on French politics.”